Jobless claims continue to climb relentlessly

– by a New Deal Democrat

Initial jobless claims rose 6,000 to 260,000 last week. More importantly, the relentlessly rising 4-week average also rose another 6,000 to 254,750, an 8-month high. Continuing claims also rose by 48,000 to 1,417,000, the highest level since April:

Initial claims are typically up 15% or more above their lows and have been rising on a year-over-year basis since before the recession began. There is a clear upward trend in all numbers, with the 4-week average of initial claims over 50% higher than the low. Claims remain on track to be higher year-over-year in November, which would signal an impending recession.

To repeat what I’ve said several times over the past two weeks, I expect (more likely than not) a slight uptick in the unemployment rate in tomorrow’s jobs report.

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