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U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims hit 4.4 Million

This brings the five-week total to more than 26 million

Jobless claim filings continued at a historically unprecedented pace last week with 4.4 million new signups for unemployment insurance, bringing the total of the past five weeks to 26.4 million, the Labor Department said Thursday.

The number represented a decline of 810,000 from the previous week, but the five-week total has now surpassed all of the job gains since the Great Recession. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had expected 4.3 million new claims.

“Another horrendous number, but at least the trajectory is clearly downwards,” said Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics.

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