Initial claims for unemployment aid rose by 13,000 to a seasonally adjusted 462,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. It was only the second rise in two months.
Jobless claims have been stuck near 450,000 all year. Few employers see much reason to create many jobs, and some are still laying off workers. Rail operator CSX Corp., for example, said Wednesday that it can lengthen its trains to handle rising shipments, reducing its need to hire more employees.
“The labor market is kind of frozen right now,” said Zach Pandl, an economist at Nomura Securities. “There’s not a lot of hiring going on, not a lot of quitting, not a lot of layoffs.”