Thursday, February 5, 2009

Jobless claims rise as Senate haggles over stimulus

Jobless claims reached a 26-year high according to a new report on the labor market.

Initial weekly jobless claims increased by 35,000 to 626,000 the highest level since October 1982, the Labor Department said today. Total unemployment benefit collectors jumped to a record 4.788 million a week earlier. A media forecast by Bloomberg News had predicted jobless claims would fall to 580,000 from 588,000. The overall unemployment rate in January was 7.5 percent, the highest in 16 years.

Yesterday, President Barack Obama said the nation faced an economic "catastrophe" if an economic stimulus plan was not passed quickly. "A failure to act, and act now, will turn crisis into a catastrophe and guarantee a longer recession, a less robust recovery, and a more uncertain future," Obama said.

US Initial Unemployment Claims Jump to 26-Year High
Bloomberg - 1 hour ago
By Courtney Schlisserman and Timothy R. Homan Feb. 5 (Bloomberg) -- The number of Americans filing first- time claims for jobless benefits unexpectedly jumped last week to a 26-year high, signaling a deepening deterioration in the labor market.
New Jobless Claims Surge to 626000 Washington Post
INSTANT VIEW: Jobless claims jump to 26-yr high Reuters

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