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Business Briefing / Workforce

Jobless benefit claims plunge

July 17, 2009|Times Wire Reports

The number of newly laid-off Americans signing up for unemployment benefits last week, and those using this safety net over a longer period, both plunged. But the government figures were clouded by difficulties adjusting for temporary shutdowns at auto plants.

The Labor Department said new applications for unemployment insurance dropped by a seasonally adjusted 47,000 to 522,000, the lowest level since early January.

The number of people still collecting benefits fell by a seasonally adjusted 642,000 to 6.27 million, the lowest level since mid-April.

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