Based partly on this latest count of new-jobless claims, Barclays Capital Research said it was now looking for 100,000 net new jobs to be added this month, or about the same as in September. That's a little less than what's needed to keep pace with the growth of the working-age population. And that means the unemployment rate will most likely remain stuck at 9.1%.
Diane Swonk, chief economist at Mesirow Financial, observed another trouble spot in the latest labor market indicator: rising ranks of unemployed civilian and military federal workers.
"Those who want smaller government are getting it in droves," she said in a note to clients. "The problem, especially for returning veterans, is that we don't seem to have jobs for them when they return home."
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