Total Jobless Benefit Claims Top 5.5 Million

WASHINGTON (AP) - The government says initial jobless benefit
claims rose slightly last week while the number of people
continuing to claim benefits set a record for the ninth straight
The figures indicate the labor market remains weak even as some
other economic indicators come in better than expected.
The Labor Department said Thursday that first-time claims for
unemployment insurance rose to a seasonally adjusted 652,000 from
the previous week's revised figure of 644,000. That is slightly
above analysts' expectations.
The total number of people claiming benefits are up 122,000 to
5.56 million, significantly higher than economists' projections of
5.48 million.

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