A sharp jump in the number of Americans filing for unemployment has brought the four-week average to its highest level since the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Last week, 378,000 new claims were filed. Roughly 2.8 million workers currently receive unemployment benefits.

It’s not a good sign for an already ailing economy that, as the Associated Press reports, some economists think is already in recession.


AP via Google:

The current economic slowdown, which many economists believe has already turned into a full-blown recession, is starting to show up in the labor market in terms of higher layoffs and weaker hiring numbers.

The total number of payroll jobs fell by 63,000 in February, an even bigger decline that the drop of 22,000 jobs in January, which had been the first monthly decline since mid-2003.

“We have no doubt that the trend in claims is upwards and is approaching the levels seen in the earlier stage of the recession in 2001,” said Ian Shepherdson, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics.

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