The holiday hiring season typically depresses the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits, but not in the Obama economy.
The U.S. Department of Labor says that for the first time in four weeks, jobless unemployment benefit applications rose, jumping 17,000 to a total of 361,000, a figure that was adjusted from 344,000 the week prior.
Today, 5.4 million Americans–roughly the population of the state of Minnesota–receive some form of unemployment benefits.
In 2012, monthly job growth has averaged an anemic 151,000 a month.
The Labor Department reports a 7.7% unemployment rate, but the real unemployment rate that includes those without a job, those who’ve given up hope looking for a job, or individuals who can’t find enough work, is 14.4%. That’s 22,700,000 Americans.
In 2009, President Barack Obama said unemployment would be 5.2% by now.