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New jobless claims make surprise jump

Mr. T

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New jobless claims make surprise jump of 18,000


New jobless claims filed last week took a surprise jump, rising by 18,000 to 460,000. Forecasters expected 442,000 new jobless claims to be filed last week.


The four-week moving average of new jobless claims, which smooths out volatility in the number, rose 2,250 to 450,250.


The Labor Department said last week's number was influenced by Easter holiday and California's Cesar Chavez Day. The prior week's new jobless claims number was revised upward 3,000 to 442,000.


At the same time, the number of continuing claims last week fell to 4.55 million from 4.68 million, which is a glimmer of hope for the long-term unemployed. Long-term unemployment is at a historic high.


Economists say that it will be difficult to find significant, lasting job creation until the number of new weekly jobless claims gets down to the low 400,000s and stays there. Nevertheless, at this time last year, more than 700,000 new claims were being filed each week.


The official March U.S. unemployment rate remained unchanged from February at 9.7 percent.



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