Initial Jobless Claims Surge

The greater-than-expected rise suggests continued weakenss in the economy and labor market during March

Initial jobless claims surged by 38,000, to 445,000, in the week ended Mar. 29, contrary to expectations of only a modest increase in claims to the 410,000 level. The gain pushed claims to the highest level since last April and came in sharp contrast to the moderation in the series seen over the past three weeks. Claims remained above 400,000 for the seventh consecutive week. The number of claimants receiving benefits jumped 107,000 to 3,608,000, the highest level since December, 2001.

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