This is not very good news. Initial claims for unemployment insurance took a turn for the worse and climbed back to 500,000, the highest level since late in 2009:
In the week ending Aug. 14, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 500,000, an increase of 12,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 488,000. The 4-week moving average was 482,500, an increase of 8,000 from the previous week's revised average of 474,500.
Claims have been moving sideways for several months and are at the highest level since late in 2009:
I have a few brief comments on this latest piece of bad labor market news at MoneyWatch.