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2.7%  Q1 GDP    4.57%  avg. 30-year mortgage     9.5%  Unemployment

Jobless Claims Make Surprise Jump

The Labor Department reported this morning that the number of newly laid-off people seeking unemployment benefits unexpectedly leaped last week to levels not seen since shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Seasonally adjusted, last week's jobless claims increased by 32,000 to 516,000, nearly equal to the 517,000 claims reported seven years ago and the second-highest total since 1992, when the country was in recession.

Nationwide and all told, about 3.9 million are continuing to seek unemployment benefits, the highest total since January 1983, though the labor market has grown by about half since then.

The national unemployment rate stands at 6.5 percent, up from 6.1 percent in September.

-- Frank Ahrens

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By Frank Ahrens  |  November 13, 2008; 9:39 AM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  
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