Commentary | Wages, Incomes, and Wealth

Weekly jobless claims reach highest level since last November

Last month EPI highlighted how weekly jobless claims, a key indicator of the health of the job market, had remained stuck in the mid-400,000 range for most of the year, after falling sharply in the second half of 2009.

More recently, weekly jobless claims have risen. In the latest week, they reached 500,000 for the first time since last November. While a pattern of unchanged weekly jobless claims raises concerns that the recovery is running out of steam, an increase in claims is even more worrisome, suggesting the labor market may actually be backtracking.

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