Update: "Shortly after the opening bell, the Dow Jones industrial average fell 200 points," after the jobless claims report "did little" to lift investors mood, reports Fortune.
This morning's economic tea leaf reading doesn't look very promising: the Labor Department is out with figures noting that unemployment benefit claims by the jobless rose by 9,000 last week to 429,000 applications, the "biggest" jump in a month according to the Associated Press. It's just another indicator that that job market is "weakening." Among other signs, relayed by the gloomy AP report: gas and food prices are becoming even more unaffordable, companies have stopped hiring, consumers discretionary spending is drying up, and private economists cast "pessimistic" projections for recovery. The rising jobless numbers have been trending upward since February:
Applications dipped below 400,000 in February and stayed below that threshold for seven of the following nine weeks. Applications fell as low as 375,000, a level that signals sustainable job growth. But applications surged in April to an eight-month high of 478,000 and have shown only modest improvement since that time.
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