Jillian Bandes
It's the first time in nine months that new jobless claims exceeded 500,000. That represents 12,000 more unemployment claims filed than in the June, when the figure was 488,000.

While census jobs provided a temporary "fix" — and I use that term loosely — for the jobless statistics, economists were hoping we would rebound beyond the jobs lost by the census and begin to carry our own. The economy needs to add 125,000 jobs every month just to keep up with population growth. We're nowhere near that figure.

As you might expect, the stock market plunged late Thursday and economists were quick to call whatever semblance of a recovery we're enjoying right now slowed. From the New York Daily News:
This is obviously a disappointing number that shows ongoing weakness," said Robert Dye, senior economist at PNC Financial Services.

Claims for unemployment benefits showed a similar pattern in the past two recoveries, but eventually began to fall again, Dye said.

If sluggish hiring trends continue, the U.S. may once again enter into what economists call a jobless recovery.

Jillian Bandes

Jillian Bandes is the National Political Reporter for Townhall.com