WASHINGTON — Initial claims for state unemployment rose by 35,000 in the Jan. 31 week to a massive 626,000, eclipsing the 26-year high reported in late December, the Labor Department reported yesterday.

This is the highest number of initial claims since Oct. 30, 1982, when 637,000 initial claims where made. A Labor Department analyst described the report as clean, with no administrative backlog from any of the states reporting and only data for Puerto Rico estimated.

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