- - Thursday, April 26, 2012

The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits remained stuck near a three-month high last week, a sign that hiring has likely slowed since winter.

The Labor Department says weekly applications dipped 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 388,000. That’s little changed from the previous week’s figure, which was the highest since Jan. 7.

The four-week average, a less-volatile measure, rose to 381,750, also the highest in three months.

Applications jumped sharply three weeks ago, a sign that employers had stepped up layoffs and added fewer jobs.

Economists said the increase might have been inflated by temporary layoffs during the spring holidays, when many school employees are laid off.

But applications haven’t dropped back since then. The increase follows a report earlier this month that showed hiring slowed in March.

ARKANSAS

Donor says he offered internship without consent

LITTLE ROCK — A member of a Los Angeles Jewish temple says he offered an internship to Sen. Mark Pryor’s office without the lawmaker’s permission in an auction that the founder of “Girls Gone Wild” said he won.

Chad Brownstein informed the Arkansas Democratic senator Thursday in a letter Mr. Brownstein provided to the Associated Press. Mr. Pryor asked the FBI a day earlier to investigate who offered his internship in the auction benefiting the Wilshire Boulevard Temple.

“Girls Gone Wild” founder Joe Francis says he won the internship in the auction and planned to include it in a prize package for a “hottest girl” TV show. The temple has returned his money.

Mr. Brownstein, who has donated to Mr. Pryor’s campaign, says he’d suggested putting the internship up for auction, but didn’t realize it’d be posted.

NEW YORK

Conservative-leaning group to air anti-Obama ads

NEW YORK — A conservative-leaning independent political group is set to spend $6.1 million on a new television ad targeting President Obama in eight states.

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