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U.S. Initial Unemployment Claims Jump to 26-Year High

The number of Americans filing first- time claims for jobless benefits unexpectedly jumped last week to a 26-year high, signaling a deepening deterioration in the labor market.

Initial jobless claims increased by 35,000 to 626,000 in the week ended Jan. 31, the highest level since October 1982, the Labor Department said today in Washington. The total number of people collecting benefits jumped to a record 4.788 million a week earlier, today’s report showed.

Companies from Macy’s Inc. to PNC Financial Services Group Inc. are announcing job cuts as consumers and businesses rein in spending, and that’s likely to prompt even further pullbacks in coming weeks. The government is forecast to report tomorrow that the U.S. lost 540,000 jobs in January.

complete article @ Bloomberg

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