The economy is chucking gears all over the road.
The number of newly laid off workers filing claims for unemployment benefits shot up unexpectedly last week, rising to the highest level in two months.
The Labor Department reported that unemployment claims totaled 324,000 last week, up 10,000 from the previous week. The big increase was unexpected.
The increase last week pushed claims to the highest level since they stood at 325,000 for the week ending April 21. The four-week average for claims rose to 314,500, the highest level since the first week in May. That increase reflected the fact that claims have posted increases for three consecutive weeks.
Overall economic growth slowed to a lackluster annual rate of 0.6 percent in the first three months of this year, the weakest performance in four years.
A total of 37 states and territories posted increases in jobless claims for the week ending June 9 while 16 states had declines. The state data lags the national data by one week and is not adjusted for normal seasonal variations.
California had the largest rise in claims applications, an increase of 10,333 that was atttributed to higher layoffs in trade and service industries. Other big increases were in Pennsylvania, up 5,220; Florida, up 3,576, and Illinois, up 3,162.
Hat-tip to Attaturk.