- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 2, 2009

WASHINGTON (AP) The number of people filing new jobless claims rose unexpectedly last week, while those continuing to receive benefits hit a record for 10th straight week.

Both figures show the labor market remains weak and is unlikely to recover anytime soon.

The Labor Department says initial claims for unemployment insurance rose to a seasonally adjusted 669,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 657,000. That total is above analysts’ expectations and is the highest in more than 26 years, though the work force has grown by about half since then.

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The tally of laid-off workers claiming benefits for more than a week rose 161,000 to 5.73 million, a 10th straight record-high and also worse than analysts expected.

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