WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- First-time applications for state unemployment benefits rose 62,000 to a seasonally adjusted 589,000 in the week ending Jan. 17, the Labor Department said Thursday.
The level of initial claims is up 82% from the same period a year ago. The last time the level was higher was in November 1982. The four-week average of new claims was unchanged at 519,250.
Meanwhile, the number of people collecting benefits in the week ending Jan. 10 rose 97,000 to 4.61 million, a level that is 72% higher than in the prior year. The four-week average of continuing claims rose 58,750 to 4.56 million -- the highest level since November 1982.The insured unemployment rate remained at 3.4%.
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