By AP | 07 Aug 2008 | 10:11 AM ET
The number of newly laid off people signing up for jobless benefits last week climbed to its highest point in more than six years as companies cut back given the faltering economy.
The Labor Department reported Thursday that new applications filed for unemployment insurance rose by a seasonally adjusted 7,000 to 455,000 for the week ending Aug. 2. The increase left claims at their highest level since late March 2002.
A program to locate people eligible for jobless benefits played a role in the increase, a Labor Department analyst said. However, the analyst couldn't say how much of a role.