April 12, 2007 -- The number of new claims for unemployment benefits rose by 19,000 last week to 342,000, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

About 2.527 million people nationwide filed jobless claims in the week ending March 31, with the insured unemployment rate unchanged from the previous week at 1.9 percent.

The largest increases in new claims were in Oregon, Missouri, and Alabama, while the largest decreases were in Michigan, New York, and California.

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