2009-08-20 / Local & State

Initial Jobless Claims, Fewest In 9 Months

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - The number of people filing for their first week of unemployment benefits in Pennsylvania dropped to its lowest level in nine months.

The state Department of Labor and Industry said 29,600 people submitted their initial benefits filings in the week ending Aug. 1, the latest statistics available.

That's the lowest since the week ending Nov. 1.

Still, that's 40 percent higher than last year at the same time, when fewer than 21,200 people filed initial claims.

All told, more than 520,000 people filed for benefits in Pennsylvania during the week ending Aug. 1. That's about 1 in every 12 people in the state's work force.

Pennsylvania now offers up to 79 weeks of jobless benefits. Since December 2007, Pennsylvania has lost more than 180,000 jobs, or one in every 32 jobs.

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