April 5, 2007 -- The number of new claims for unemployment benefits increased by 11,000 last week to 321,000, following sharp decline a week earlier, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.9 percent for the week ending March 24, representing 2.492 million people filing unemployment claims, the report said.

The largest increases in new claims last week were in Michigan, California, and Oklahoma, while the largest decreases were in Mississippi, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, the report said.

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