Tolja: Jobless Claims Rise To 410,000

Claims for unemployment insurance by the newly-laid off rose last week to 410,000, an increase of 25,000 from the previous week’s figure, the Labor Department announced today.

This puts jobless claims back more or less where they were two weeks ago, after hitting a 2.5 year low in the week ending February 4.

For the week of Jan. 29, the most recent week data were available, 9.3 million Americans were receiving some form of unemployment benefits from the government, including 3.6 million who had exhausted their regular state benefits.

Compared to January 2010, the January 2011 numbers look positively wonderful, however. In January 2010, 11.8 million Americans were unemployed and receiving benefits.

Meanwhile, according to Bloomberg News, a separate Labor Department report shows the cost of living to have increased in January for the seventh consecutive month. Ouch.