Jobless claims surge, housing starts tumble (Reuters)

Monty McCleskes fills out an application form at a job fair organized by The News-Press newspaper in Estero, Florida in this January 14, 2009 file photo. (Carlos Barria/Reuters)Reuters – The number of workers lining up for jobless benefits surged last week, while new housing starts and permits hit record lows in December, pointing at an acceleration in the economy’s downward spiral.

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