Layoffs hitting West the worst

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If you live in the West, you may already know this fact, if not being familiar with its effects: The West had the highest number of initial claims for unemployment insurance due to mass layoffs in February.

The West had 65,792 initial claims, followed by the Midwest with 64,973, the South with 55,542, and the Northeast with 32,131, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

California, where I'm unhappily unemployed, led the country with 45,557 unemployment claims in February.

Of the nine geographic divisions the bureau breaks the country into, the Pacific had the highest number of initial claims with 54,411, followed by the East North Central at 52,690 and the Middle Atlantic with 24,387.

A total of 295,477 workers across the country filed new claims for unemployment.

The national unemployment rate was 8.1% in February, seasonally adjusted, up from 7.6% the previous month and 4.8% a year earlier, the report stated.

It's ugly out there, any way you look at it. Take a deep breath. March numbers won't be out for a few weeks.

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