The number of people applying for unemployment benefits rose for the second straight week, a sign the hiring market is recovering at a slow and uneven pace. Weekly applications for unemployment benefits rose 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 402,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. Applications had been below 400,000 for three straight weeks.
Last week, jobs went up by a hair, but somehow, unemployment plummeted by a lot. What gives? The answer lies in the quirky way the Bureau of Labor Statistics decides who gets counted as part of the work force, who gets counted as officially unemployed, and who gets left out of the picture.