Washington (AP) The government says that the number of newly laid-off individuals seeking unemployment benefits jumped more than expected last week to a seven-year high.
The Labor Department says jobless claims increased by 32,000 to a seasonally adjusted 516,000. That is the highest total since just after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and second-highest since 1992.
Analysts expected claims to increase slightly to 484,000, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters.
The four-week average of claims, which smoothes out fluctuations, rose by 13,250 to 491,000, the highest in over 17 years.
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