Today’s jobless claims report indicated a major setback to the weak economic "recovery" with both initial and continued jobless claims rising unexpectedly as initial claims jumped back above the closely watched 400K level.
Seasonally adjusted “initial” unemployment claims surged by 78,000 to 439,000 claims from a revised 361,000 claims for the prior week while seasonally adjusted “continued” claims increased by 171,000 claims to 3.334 million resulting in an “insured” unemployment rate of 2.6%.
Since the middle of 2008 though, two federal government sponsored “extended” unemployment benefit programs (the “extended benefits” and “EUC 2008” from recent legislation) have been picking up claimants that have fallen off of the traditional unemployment benefits rolls.
Currently there are some 2.12 million people receiving federal “extended” unemployment benefits.
Taken together with the latest 2.77 million people that are currently counted as receiving traditional continued unemployment benefits, there are 4.89 million people on state and federal unemployment rolls.