Unemployment Claims Exceed 400,000

Washington, D.C.–The number of U.S. workers filing for unemployment benefits hit its highest level in more than two years, the Labor Department said Thursday.In the week that ended Mar. 29, initial jobless benefit claims grew by 38,000 to 407,000, after seasonal adjustments, The Wall Street Journal reports.The four-week new claims average swelled from 358,750 to 374,500–a 15,750 increase–last week. The Labor Department said it was having difficulties factoring in how the Easter holiday may have affected the increase.However, the growth is a concern because a slow job market can reduce consumer spending, according to the Journal.