Bob Willis
April 23, 2009

The number of Americans filing first-time applications for unemployment insurance rose last week to 640,000 as forecast, while total benefit rolls reached a record, indicating the labor market continues to deteriorate.


Initial jobless claims increased by 27,000 in the week that ended April 18, from a revised 613,000 the prior week, the Labor Department said today in Washington. The number of people staying on jobless-benefit rolls rose by 93,000 to 6.14 million, the 12th straight week the figure has set a record.

Job losses may continue all year even as the longest recession in the postwar era shows signs of reaching a trough. The release indicates employment cuts may come close to topping 650,000 for a record fifth straight month in April because today’s report covers the week of the monthly payroll survey.

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