New jobless claims highest in 27 years
New jobless claims rose more than expected last week and the number of laid-off Americans continuing to receive unemployment benefits topped 5.1 million, fresh evidence the recession is increasingly forcing employers to shed jobs.
The Labor Department said Thursday that first-time requests for unemployment benefits jumped to 667,000 from the previous week's figure of 631,000. Analysts had expected a slight drop in claims.
The 667,000 new claims are the most since October 1982, though the labor force has grown by about half since then.
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