Economists and financial authorities have debated whether the U.S. economy is on the road to recovery or simply bracing for another fallout through much of the first half of 2012. Following the unexpected recovery that began during the closing months of 2011, many were quick to predict that 2012 would see significant growth in the job market. While the current national employment rate continues to hover around 8.1 percent, there have been several unfortunate roadblocks that have stood in the way of further progress.
The Associated Press reports that applications for unemployment benefits jumped to their highest point in nearly 5 weeks – nearly 10,000 new requests as found in a study conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor. The current seasonally adjusted average for jobless assistance stands at 383,000. This news comes only a day before the federal government is set to release a report on hiring rates in the public and private sectors.
While this news comes as a disappointment to many, it seems that consumer spending in the U.S. remains largely unaffected, according to another article by the Associated Press. Purchases were significantly higher in May than they were this time last year.