Much higher than expected.

The times just keep getting tougher…

WASHINGTON – New jobless claims rose more than expected last week and the number of laid-off Americans continuing to receive unemployment benefits topped 5.1 million, fresh evidence the recession is increasingly forcing employers to shed jobs.

The Labor Department said Thursday that first-time requests for unemployment benefits jumped to 667,000 from the previous week’s figure of 631,000. Analysts had expected a slight drop in claims. […]

The number of people receiving unemployment insurance for more than one week also increased more than expected to 5.1 million. That’s the fifth straight week the figure has set a new record-high on data going back to 1967, and compared with only about 2.8 million people a year ago.

Even the NFL is cutting jobs…

More job losses were announced this week. The NFL said Wednesday that commissioner Roger Goodell has taken a 20 percent pay cut and the league dropped 169 jobs through buyouts, layoffs and other reductions.

It’s a good thing benefits were extended last year to more of those who are struggling to find work because I don’t even want to think about money running out for Americans right now.

In any event, let’s hope this news gets better next week, but, as I’ve said before, I fear it’s going to get a lot worse before it starts to pick back up.

Politics Unemployment Claims Rise To 667K Last Week