Striking Verizon Workers Seek Unemployment Benefits

WASHINGTON (AP) - The number of people seeking unemployment
benefits rose last week. But it was pushed up by thousands of
Verizon workers who were on strike.
      The Labor Department says weekly applications rose 5,000 to a
seasonally adjusted 417,000, the highest level in five weeks.
      Excluding the striking workers, the report suggests layoffs
aren't increasing. That should ease fears that the economy is on
the verge of a recession. But employers aren't creating enough jobs
to rapidly lower the unemployment rate.
      About 45,000 Verizon workers went on strike Aug. 7. Unions
representing the workers ended the strike earlier this week.
      Typically, workers who walk off the job aren't eligible for
benefits. But states have specific rules governing labor disputes.