The latest initial jobless claims figures showed a 27,000 rise to 640,000 in the week of April 18. That reversed some of the previous week's big decline, which appears to have been impacted by the Easter holiday. The bigger story is that continuing claims continue to rise inexorably. This is a sign that people who lose their jobs are having a tough time finding new work. That figure rose to 6.137 million from 6.044 million a week earlier. This is yet another all-time record high (chart above).