- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 23, 2009

UPDATED:

The number of U.S. workers filing first-time unemployment claims increased last week by 27,000, compared to the previous week, the Labor Department reported Thursday morning.

In the week ending April 18, 640,000 unemployed workers filed claims — up from 613,000 in the week ending April 11.

The agency also reported that an additional 93,000 workers filed ongoing claims in the week ending April 11, which brings the total number of ongoing claims to 6.14 million and sets a record for the 12th straight week.

The numbers a year ago were: 353,000 people filing first-time claims and 2.93 million filing ongoing claims.

RELATED STORY: Markets open to higher U.S. unemployment

More than 5.1 million jobs have been cut from the U.S. economy since the recession started in December 2007, including roughly 663,000 more last month, which has resulted in an unemployment rate of 8.5 percent, a 25-year high.

Florida had the most initial claims for the week ending April 11. The state had 9,303 claims, followed by Pennsylvania, with 7,538, and California, with 6,404.

Michigan had 12,566 fewer first-time claims, which the Labor Department attributed to fewer layoffs in the automobile industry.

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