Jobless claims are up throughout nation

The number of Americansseeking unemployment benefits is showing an uptick. It jumped 20,000 last weekto a seasonally adjusted 362,000, though it remained at a level consistent withmodest hiring. The Labor Department says the four-week average, a less volatilemeasure, rose 8,000 to its highest level in six weeks. A department spokesmansays heavy snowstorms in the Northeast didn't affect the total.