by Michael Snyder
The Economic Collapse Blog
As the U.S. economy slows down, we would expect to start to see evidence of this in the employment numbers, and that is precisely what has begun to happen. During the week before last, initial claims for unemployment benefits jumped by 17,000, which was the largest increase that we had seen in over a year. Well, last week we witnessed an even bigger spike. Seasonally adjusted initial claims shot up 20,000 more to a total of 294,000. Of course it makes perfect sense that more Americans are applying for unemployment benefits, because firms are laying people off at a much faster pace these days. Just a couple days ago I reported that job cut announcements at major firms are running 24 percent higher this year compared to the first four months of last year. So we should fully expect that the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits will continue to accelerate.