Layoffs spike, housing tumbles; outlook worsens (AP)

In this Dec. 5, 2008 file photo, a man looks at job listings at the Employment Development Department in San Francisco. The Labor Department said Thursday, Jan. 22, 2009, new jobless claims have risen to 589,000 from the previous week's 524,000. Analysts expected claims to rise to 540,000 from 524,000 last week. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, file)AP – The number of newly laid-off Americans filing jobless claims and the pace of home construction both posted worse-than-expected results in government data released Thursday, lending urgency to the economic recovery plan President Barack Obama and Congress are scrambling to advance.

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