First-time jobless benefits claims up

June 18, 2009 at 10:36 AM
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WASHINGTON, June 18 (UPI) -- A slight bump in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment insurance kept claims above 600,000 in the week, the U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday.

The 608,000 initial benefit claims in the week ending June 13 was an increase of 3,000 above the previous week.

The total contributed to a four-week rolling average of 615,750, which was a decrease of 7,000 from the previous week's rolling average of 622,750.

The U.S. unemployment rate remained unchanged at 9.4 percent.

The biggest increases in claims for the week ending June 6 were reported by Pennsylvania with 6,861 additional claims; Florida, which added 6,469; and Ohio, which added 5,104, the report said.

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

For the week ending June 6, the biggest decreases were reported by Arkansas with a decline of 1,206 claims; Puerto Rico, declining by 1,131, and Wisconsin with 707 fewer claims than the week of May 30.

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