The four-week running average that flattens volatility in the weekly numbers was 370,500, a rise of 3,250 from the previous week's average of 367,250.
For the week ending Oct. 20, the total number of people claiming benefits in all programs, federal and state, was 5,077,231, an increase of 41,864 from the previous week. There were 6,835,604 persons claiming benefits in all programs in the comparable week in 2011.
Currently, the 100 percent federally funded extended benefit program is scheduled to expire at the end of 2012. That program provides additional weeks of unemployment benefits to certain workers who have exhausted their rights to benefits in states with high unemployment.