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Friday’s jobless claims report showed an increase to both initial and continued unemployment claims as seasonally adjusted initial claims jumped back near the so-closely watched 400K level.

Seasonally adjusted initial unemployment increased 24,000 to 399,000 claims from last week’s revised 375,000 claims while seasonally adjusted continued claims increased by 19,000, resulting in an insured unemployment rate of 2.9%.

Since the middle of 2008 though, two federal government sponsored extended unemployment benefit programs (the extended benefits and 'EUC 2008' from recent legislation) have been picking up claimants that have fallen off of the traditional unemployment benefits rolls.

Currently there are some 3.45 million people receiving federal extended unemployment benefits.

Taken together with the latest 3.77 million people that are currently counted as receiving traditional continued unemployment benefits, there are 7.23 million people on state and federal unemployment rolls.

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