April 23, 2009

Jobless claims rise by 27,000

First-time claims for U.S. unemployment insurance jumped by 27,000 last week, the U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday.

The 640,000 initial benefits claims contributed to a four-week rolling average of 646,750, which was a slight decrease -- down by 4,250 -- from the previous week's rolling average of 651,000.

The U.S. unemployment rate remained unchanged at 8.5 percent.

The biggest increases in claims for the week ending April 11 were reported by Florida with 9,303 additional claims; Pennsylvania, which added 7,538; and California, which added 6,404, the report said.

State-by-state statistics lag a week behind the national report.

For the week ending April 11, the biggest decreases were reported by Michigan with a decline of 12,566 claims; North Carolina, declining by 6,428; and Missouri with 5,575 fewer claims than the week of April 4.