Jobless Claims Jump Linked to Outreach Effort

July 31, 2008 7:15:06 AM PDT
The number of people filing claims for unemployment benefits jumped to the highest level in five years last week, reflecting in large part a new government outreach effort to locate people eligible for benefits. The Labor Department reported Thursday that the number of applications for jobless benefits soared to 448,000, an increase of 44,000 from the previous week. That was far worse than the decline of 8,000 that economists had been expecting.

However, the government attributed much of the big jump to a special outreach program to notify people that they could qualify for up to 13 weeks of additional benefits because of legislation Congress passed in June.


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