Number Crunch

Weekly Jobless Claims Rise

Mixed unemployment news from the government Thursday. The Associated Press reports that 554,000 people filed initial claims for unemployment last week, slightly higher than analysts expected, although the Labor Department said that the timing of auto-plant shutdowns was juking the stats. The good news is that total jobless-benefit rolls fell by 88,000—more than expected—to 6.2 million, which is the lowest they've been since mid-April.