WASHINGTON (AP) -- The government says new claims for unemployment benefits jumped last week to a 16-year high, providing more evidence of a rapidly weakening labor market.
The Labor Department says new applications for jobless benefits rose to a seasonally adjusted 542,000 from a downwardly revised figure of 515,000 in the previous week.
That's much higher than Wall Street economists' expectations of 505,000, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters.
That's also the highest level of claims since July 1992, the department says, when the U.S. economy was coming out of a recession.
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