More bad news -- unemployment claims on the rise. Hovering just below 500,000, new unemployment claims is a window into what employers are doing at the moment. They are beginning to add to layoffs again.
For reasons laid out over and over again in earlier blogs, this is a perfectly rational response by private employers to actions taken by the Obama Administration and the Congress in 2009-2010. Commercial banks have, as a predictable response to Obama and the Congress, dramatically curtailed business lending. Can't be pilloried for making bad loans, if you don't make loans.
So, in some sense the Obama plan is working: the private sector has been brought to it's knees: way to go, Barrack! You paid those guys back. A little collateral damage, but so what if the unemployed ranks continue to grow.