Initial claims for state unemployment climbed 32,000 to a seven-year high of 516,000 in the Nov. 8 week, well above expectations of a 479,000 level, the Labor Department reported yesterday.

Initial claims were last higher on Sept. 29, 2001, when 517,000 was the figure reported for the week.

Seasonal factors had expected unadjusted claims to rise 8.5%, or roughly 40,000, for the week, but they actually rose 15.8%, or 73,527, to a level of 539,868, a Labor Department analyst said.

There were “broad increases across a number of states,” with estimates from California and Michigan, the analyst noted.

The previous week’s initial claims level was revised to 484,000 from the previously reported 481,000 level.

The level of continuing claims soared 65,000 to 3.897 million in Nov. 1 week. This was also the highest level reported since 3.950 million in the Jan. 15, 1983, week.

— Market News International

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