The number of first-time unemployment claims increased 0.1 percent from the prior week. An estimated 652,000 people filed claims, on a seasonally adjusted basis.

The prior week, which ended on March 14, an estimated 644,000 people filed for unemployment insurance, reports the Department of Labor.

The total estimated number of people receiving unemployment benefits climbed to 5,560,000, an increase of 122,000.

The Associated Press reports today that the unemployment rate is now at 8.1 percent – a 25-year high.

The states with the highest percentage of workers receiving unemployment insurance are:

  1. Michigan
  2. Oregon
  3. Idaho
  4. Wisconsin
  5. Pennsylvania
  6. Rhode Island
  7. Nevada
  8. Montana
  9. Indiana
  10. Vermont

March 26, 2009