Labor Dept.: Jobless claims up by 36K

The Labor Department announced Thursday that first-time unemployment claims jumped by 36,000 last week.

The numbers came as a surprise to many experts, who were expecting a small drop in unemployment.

According to Labor Department officials, part of the increase in unemployment may have been caused by a backlog in jobless claims left over from the holidays.

New numbers just out for Nassau and Suffolk counties show unemployment up from 6.8 percent in November to 7 percent in December.

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