Weekly unemployment claims up 13 percent

Seasonally adjusted claims for unemployment insurance rose by 46,000 last week, or about 13 percent.

Seasonally adjusted claims for unemployment insurance rose by 46,000 last week or about 13 percent, countering recent labor market indicators which have showed stabilization and even modest growth in employment. Diane Swonk, chief financial economist with Mesirow Financial, says the latest numbers are more of a "seasonal glitch" rather than the start of a new trend: "When you add it all up and go over the history, it looks like the labor market is improving but not as fast as we'd like." Swonk says the US economic recovery is occuring in fits and starts, likening it to running a relay race. The manufacturing sector was carrying the economy for part of the year but then faded, only to be followed by a surge in the housing market. "Until we see all of [the sectors] running at the same time and the US economy running on all cylinders, you won't see robust growth," Swonk says.      

About the author

Diane Swonk is chief economist with Mesirow Financial, based in Chicago.

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