6 Feb 2009

US jobless claims rise

9:21 am on 6 February 2009

The number of workers filing new claims for jobless benefits has risen again in the United States.

In addition, the number of people staying on the benefit rolls hit a record high in the week ended 24 January.

The Labor Department said on Thursday that initial claims for state unemployment insurance benefits rose 35,000 to a seasonally adjusted 626,000 in the week ended 31 January - the highest since October, 1982.

An independent report issued on Wednesday showed the private sector lost 522,000 jobs last month.

The collapse of the US housing market has triggered the worst economic and financial crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

The Commerce Department says new orders received by US factories were down by 3.9% in December, for the fifth consecutive month.

Orders for durable goods, items meant to last three years or more, were down 3%.