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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