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Record year for unemployment claims

Unemployment claims in Washington set new records this year, with more than 500,000 jobless workers collecting almost $4.7 billion in benefits.

The Employment Security Department this morning compared the results with 2009, when 475,000 claimants collected $4 billion in benefits, and 2008, when 290,000 collected $1.2 billion.

The federal government, which recently extended long-term benefits, paid 58 percent of the 2010 claims.

Unemployed workers drew benefits for an average 41 weeks, up from 28 weeks in 2009.


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Bert Caldwell
Bert Caldwell oversees production of the opinion pages, including writing editorials, and editing and selecting letters, columns and cartoons.




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