U.S. Jobless Claims Hit 654,000

Loss was higher than expected

Job loss in the past week rose higher than expected hitting 654,000 as the recession hit the labor market hard, government data showed on March 12. Analysts had expected the latest figure to be 644,000

The number of initial claims for unemployment benefits rose by 9,000 in the week ending March 7 from the previous week's revised figure of 645,000, the Labor Department said.

The four-week moving average was 650,000, an increase of 6,750 from the previous week's revised average of 643,250, the department said.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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