Unemployment benefits seekers rise 15,000


WASHINGTON — The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits rose 15,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 309,000. But the data was distorted for the second straight week by reporting delays.

The Labor Department says the less volatile four-week average fell 7,000 to 314,750, the lowest in nearly six years.

Applications plummeted two weeks ago when California and Nevada were unable to report all their data because of computer upgrades in both states.