A thousand words worth. The data is taken from the Department of Labor UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE WEEKLY CLAIMS REPORT and represents the total increase of Ins. Unemployment (SA) plus Extended Benefits plus Extended Unemployment Compensation 2008
The period covered begins January 31 and continues through June 13. The data represents the increase in unemployment, not total unemployment. The total unemployment numbers (and the unemployment rate) are published by the BLS in Employment Situation Summary the first week of every month. The current rate is 9.4% and my bet is that next week's report will take it to 9.7%.
The weekly reporting by state media, such as Associated Press, focuses on the "top line" number regarding initial claims. A more interesting story would report the astonishing increases in Extended Benefits both "standard" and those covered by EUC 2008. Employers have reacted to the results of the November election with a fair degree of alacrity. The Democrats have provided ample reason for them to continue to trim - with a meataxe.