The Labor Department reported today that the number of Americans filing state unemployment claims rose 12,000 to 669,000 last week from a revised 657,000 the week before, their highest level since October 1982. The unexpected increase is one indicator that the job market is unlikely to recover in the near future.
Tomorrow, the Labor Department will release its monthly jobless numbers. Analysts are expecting the unemployment rate could increase to 8.5 percent from 8.1 percent. The U.S. has lost 4.4 million jobs since the recession started in late 2007; if jobs continue to be lost at record rates it is not likely that consumer spending will see a significant boost and that economic recovery will be delayed even further.
Despite the dismal news, there is a silver lining: the $787 billion stimulus plan passed in February will help counter the recession by saving or creating 3.5 million jobs over the next two years and certain sectors like healthcare, education, technology and financial services are poised to see great growth in the coming years.
For more on where the jobs are, who is hiring and how to find openings, tune into a special On The Money tomorrow night at 10p ET.