Applications for jobless aid rising but still at low levels

The number of Americans seeking unemployment aid was higher over the past few months than the government had initially reported, reflecting a modest rise in layoffs as the economy has slowed in the face of higher interest rates, according to an Associated Press report.

The Labor Department reported Thursday that the number of applications has exceeded 200,000 since early February — above previous estimates, though still relatively low by historical standards.

The department has revised its estimates of the number of weekly applications for jobless benefits under a new formula it is using to reflect seasonal adjustments. The new formula is intended to more accurately capture seasonal patterns in job losses.

For the week that ended April 1, the number of Americans applying for jobless aid was 228,000, the government estimated. That was down from 246,000 in the previous week and 247,000 in the week before that. Using its new seasonal adjustment formula, the government revised up each of those figures by nearly 50,000.