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Steve Chiotakis: Now, jobs. As if we needed more evidence that the picture is ugly. The number of people filing new requests for unemployment insurance has risen to a record high — again. A seasonally adjusted 669,000. That caught analysts off guard a bit. The latest from New York. And Marketplace’s Jeremy Hobson.
Jeremy Hobson: The number of people on the unemployment rolls is now the highest as a proportion of the labor force since May of 1983. Unlike the overall unemployment number, this number, the people seeking benefits, shows that the recently laid off are having a hard time getting new jobs.
John Sylvia, chief economist at Wachovia, calls this morning’s data disappointing.
John Sylvia: Jobless claims are a leading economic indicator. And the continued rise suggests that the economy will continue to lose jobs probably over the next two to four months.
For states, it means a bigger strain on already tight budgets. Though the Obama stimulus plan did provide extra funds for unemployment insurance.
Tomorrow, the Labor Department will report on March unemployment, a number that’s not expected to be too uplifting.
In New York, I’m Jeremy Hobson for Marketplace.
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