For the 3rd consecutive week, the number of new unemployment claims grew – reaching 500,000 new claims for the week ending August 14th. While this is the highest rate of new claims since November 2009, the rate of new claims was higher throughout almost all of 2009 – with the highest rate being 651,000 in March of 2009, according to labor statistics. The total number of unemployment benefit recipients is 4,478,000 people – 3.5% of the population.
Unsurprisingly, the number of unemployment claims continue to increase as the number of temporary census workers decline. Only 73,424 temporary census workers remain and over 120,000 have dropped from the payroll in the last month.