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

New Jobless Claims Down, But Still at Elevated Levels

New unemployment claims fell more than expected last week but the number of people getting benefits neared 6 million for the 10th straight week, the Labor Department said this morning.

The number of first-time jobless claims fell to a seasonally adjusted 654,000, down from 674,000 the week before. Forecasters had expected the number of claims to drop to 660,000.

However, the total number of unemployed Americans rose from 5.75 million to 5.84 million. That number is the highest since 1967 and higher than forecasters expected.

U.S. unemployment now stands at 8.5 percent, but it's important to remember that the Labor Department does not count as unemployed those who've given up looking for work, so the national unemployment rate is higher by some number.

-- Frank Ahrens
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By Frank Ahrens  |  April 9, 2009; 11:45 AM ET
Categories:  The Ticker  | Tags: Labor Department, unemployment  
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