National

Apr 8, 2010 9:14 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

New jobless claims increase unexpectedly

The number of newly laid-off workers seeking unemployment benefits rose last week, a sign that jobs remain scarce even as the economy recovers.

The Labor Department said first-time claims increased by 18,000 to a seasonally adjusted 460,000. That's worse than economists' estimates of a drop to 435,000, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters.

The report covers the week that includes the Easter holiday, and a Labor Department analyst said seasonal adjustment for that week can be difficult since the Easter holiday occurs in different weeks each year.

The tally of people continuing to claim benefits for more than a week fell by 131,000 to 4.55 million, the lowest level since December 2008.

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