Initial Jobless Claims Hit 9-Month High. Is Unemployment About to Spike?

The US Department of Labor just announced initial jobless claims climbed to 500,000 — a level not seen since November 2009. As we have explained many times before, initial jobless claims must shrink to less than 400,000 in order to start meaningfully reducing unemployment. Clearly, we are moving in the wrong direction!

Until this month, weekly initial jobless claims have basically been flat at ~450,000+ for all of 2010. Although that sucks,  to levee was still holding. If the back-to-school and holiday shopping seasons resurrect fear in the minds of CEOs causing a longer moratorium on hiring, 2011 could become a very ugly year for the US economy.

If you’re interested in learning more about initial jobless claims and unemployment, don’t miss Your Ultimate Cheat Sheet to Unemployment Numbers.