After improving five of the last six weeks, initial jobless claims rose 13,000 in the October 9 week to a higher-than-expected 462,000 (prior week revised 4,000 higher to 449,000). The Labor Department had to use estimates for five states due to administrative delays tied to this week's Columbus Day. The four-week average, up 2,250 to 459,000, ended six straight weeks of improvement.
Here is the relevant chart:
Claims have been going sideways for the better part of the year. This is a huge issue, as it indicates just enough people are getting laid off to continually feed the unemployed. It is important to remember the previous tow recoveries had similar issues -- not that it makes it any easier.