U.S. Economy: Jobless Rolls Climb to 26-Year High

U.S. Economy: Jobless Rolls Climb to 26-Year High

More Americans are collecting jobless benefits than at any time in the last 26 years as companies rush to cut costs in a sinking economy.

The number of people on unemployment benefit rolls rose to 4.09 million in the week ended Nov. 22, the most since December 1982, the Labor Department said today in Washington. A separate report showed orders at U.S. factories tumbled in October by the most in eight years as demand collapsed at home and abroad.

AT&T Inc., DuPont Co. and Viacom Inc. today announced plans to eliminate more than 15,000 jobs as consumer spending falters and the recession deepens. The Labor Department tomorrow will report that the U.S. unemployment rate jumped to a 15-year high of 6.8 percent in November, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists.

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