Posted on 26 Feb 2009
New U.S. claims for state unemployment benefits unexpectedly jumped last week to a 26-year high while total claims cracked the five million mark for the first time ever, The latest evidence that the already severe recession is deepening as it extends into its second year.
Separately, new-home sales tumbled a sixth consecutive time during January as bloated inventories kept prices on a stubborn retreat in a recession scaring people away from the housing market. And in another sign of economic weakness, durable goods orders plunged in January, a sign of future demand fell, and a barometer of capital spending by businesses dropped, according to data showing how the recession is battering the factory sector.
Initial claims for jobless benefits rose 36,000 to 667,000 after seasonal adjustments in the week ended Feb. 21, the Labor Department said in a weekly report Thursday. That's the highest level since Oct. 2, 1982, although the labor force was much smaller then.