This time of year, you would think that fewer people would be losing their jobs.
Not too many employers are so heartless as to actually let people go during the holiday season unless they were truly in bad financial shape. But, in bad shape they must be. That's because the number of first time claimants for unemployment benefits took an unexpected jump last week to 480,000 workers.
This is up from the previous week's surprise increase of 473,000 claimants (Click to See Full Story: "US jobless claims rise for second week"). Additionally, the number of people still remaining on unemployment insurance went up again; albeit somewhat slightly. But, keep in mind, that this statistic doesn't reflect how many people who just fell off the insurance rolls because their benefits have run out. And, it doesn't include those who either gave up looking for work or who have become underemployed because they decided to stop taking unemployment benefits and take either temporary work or work a job that is below their normal skill level.
Apparently, no one got the memo from Obama's chief economic adviser, Larry Summers, who, just this weekend, said the recession is over and that businesses are expanding; although he can't pin down the "pace".
With that in mind, we should be seeing a leveling off of jobless claims; not an increase as we have seen this morning.