US unemployment claims disappointingly high

I try to report on these numbers as objectively as possible, but the drip-drip of negative news out of the U.S. starts to wear on you. Jobless claims were expected to drop substantially after the effects of Hurricane Ike wore off. I was expecting claims to fall from the near-500,000 level. They did not.

Unemployment claims for the week ended Sep 27th came in at 497,000, up 1,000 from the upwardly revised week ending Sep 20th. The widely-followed four-week average is now 474,000, well above the 400,000 level that traditionally indicates recession. Continuing claims were also up, rising to 3,591,000.

This puts unemployment claims up 155,500 over the level at this time last year. Continuing claims are a massive 962,000 higher than at this time last year. Both of these numbers indicate that the employment sector in the U.S. is not just weak, it is deteriorating.

Let’s see how the unemployment numbers are tomorrow.

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