Economists saw hope on the horizon in February when the unemployment numbers fell to 375,000 jobless, but for the last 7 weeks those numbers have been quickly on the rise. The week ending May 21 saw 424,000 Americans filing new claims for unemployment. This is up 10,000 from the week before. 375,000 Claims in February marked the lowest unemployment rate in 2 years, but the forecast economists made for the unemployment rate at that point have now been proven wrong with these new reports. While this does show a weakened job market, economists, like Tim Quinlan of Wells Fargo Securities, believe that "You can have 400,000 people a week go into the unemployment office and still have job growth.”
Since the 2001 recession and up to this newest financial crisis unemployment claims have stayed around the 300,000s. The economy has seen substantial job growth, with some states like Alabama, Michigan, California, New York, and Wisconsin showing the biggest improvement in unemployment rates. The highest numbers of initial unemployment claims are showing in Idaho, Florida, Georgia, and New Mexico.