Thursday, August 7, 2008

Jobless Claims Rise to Highest Level Since March 2002

The Labor Department reported Thursday that new applications filed for unemployment insurance rose by a seasonally adjusted 7,000 to 455,000 for the week ending Aug. 2. The increase left claims at their highest level since late March 2002.

There is a kink in the numbers, however.

An outreach program to locate people eligible for jobless benefits played a role in the increase, a Labor Department analyst said, according to Jeannie Aversa at AP.

More interesting, and which makes the current number nearly useless for comparison purposes, is that the Labor spokeman didn't know how many additional applicants were added by the outreach program.

The spokesman did say however that claims will probably remain unusually high for several weeks.

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