627K new jobless claims; continuing claims near 5M (AP)

Hundreds of job seekers stand on line at a National Career Fairs job fair at the Radisson Martinique On Broadway Hotel Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2009, as they lined up to get a shot at employment. The Labor Department says new applications for benefits totaled 627,000 last week, the same as the previous week. But that was still more than the 620,000 claims economists expected.  (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)AP – The number of laid-off workers receiving unemployment benefits has jumped to an all-time high near 5 million while new jobless claims remain well above 600,000. Both figures were worse than expected and new projections from the Federal Reserve show unemployment rising for the rest of this year.

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