By Patrick Appel
The lack of underlying data means this could be a temporary increase caused by Census/governmental/construction losses, the reality is the total number could not come at a worse time. We've been seeing weakening numbers from the manufacturing sector for the last few months (see today's -7.7 print from the Philly Fed), indicating this sector -- which led us out of the recession -- is losing steam. Now we have initial unemployment claims at a big, far round numbers: 500,000. That is terrible news with little to [no] upside in my opinion.
After four quarters of GDP growth, we're seeing clear signs of weakness.
Chart from Calculated Risk.