We're moving sideways:
And a closer look (the red line is initial claims, the black line is the 4 week average):
Unemployment Insurance weekly Claims Report: In the week ending June 12, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 472,000, an increase of 12,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 460,000. The 4-week moving average was 463,500, a decrease of 500 from the previous week's revised average of 464,000.
I'd make the usual plea that labor markets need more help, but what good would it do? Congress is not going to do anything substantial to try to help with the employment problem. Brad DeLong is equally frustrated:
I tell you. Writing the history of this episode is going to be next to impossible. "But why didn't they see?!?" is what the students are all going to ask. And I have no answer...
The austerians are winning, but at what cost? How does a stubbornly high unemployment rate increase business and market confidence?