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Gibbs Warns Of Dismal Unemployment Report

Whatever optimism the White House had Thursday on the heels of the G20 Summit was temporarily muted by anticipation of another brutal unemployment report.

Speaking to the press aboard Air Force One Friday on his way with the president to France, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said it is "safe to expect additional severe job cuts."

On Thursday, the Labor Department reported new jobless claims jumped unexpectedly last week to a seasonally adjusted 669,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 657,000. The total exceeded analysts' expectations and was the highest in more than 26 years.

(AP/Department of Labor)
The overall number of laid-off workers claiming benefits for more than one week rose 161,000 to 5.73 million, setting a record for the 10th straight week.

"There are some green shoots in the economy," Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody's Economy, "but if we continue to lose 700,000 jobs per month, these green shoots are just going to burn out."

He added: "I think the unemployment rate will peak at just around 10 percent probably in the spring, maybe early summer of 2010."