New Jobless Claims Rise More Than expected to 589K

WASHINGTON (January 22, 2009)—The Labor Department had released its latest unemployment figures and the numbers are well above Wall Street economists' expectations of 540,000 new claims.

First-time jobless benefit claims jumped to a seasonally adjusted 586,000 in the week ending Jan. 17; up from the upwardly revised figure of 527,000 the previous week.

The total matches a 26-year high reached four weeks ago. The last time claims were higher was in November 1982, when the economy was emerging from a steep recession, though the work force has grown by about half since then.

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