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Requests for unemployment benefits jump to 429,000

Requests for unemployment benefits jump to 429,000 (by Jeffry Bartash)

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- The number of people who filed new applications for jobless benefits climbed by 25,000 last week to 429,000, the highest level in three months. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had expected claims to decline to seasonally adjusted 395,000 from the prior week's revised level of 404,000. The average of new claims over the past four weeks, meanwhile, rose by 9,250 to 408,500, the highest level since mid-February. The four-week average is considered more accurate a gauge of employment trends because it lessens week-to-week volatility in the data. Also, the government said the number of workers who continue to receive state compensation decreased by 68,000 to a seasonally adjusted 3.64 million in the week of April 16. Altogether, 8.19 million people received some kind of state or federal benefit in the week of April 9, down 112,578 from the prior week.