Aug 24, 2012 10:50 AM EDT
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Unemployment Applications Continuing To Increase: No Sign Of Relief

By Donovan Jackson
Unemployment
(Photo : Reuters) Applicants wait in line to speak with recruiters

Unemployment is still on the rise, with almost no sign of relief in sight. For the second consecutive week, Americans filing for unemployment is on the rise, bringing into question whether the economy is in a recovery or remains in a recession.

The four-week average for unemployment applications increased by 4,000 while the overall assistance is lower than five weeks ago, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

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A Labor Department spokesperson told Bloomberg News there was nothing atypical about last week's data, which was compiled from reports from all 50 states.

"It's still very sluggish and growth itself is implying we should not see any acceleration in hiring at this point," Yelena Shulyatyeva, an economist at BNP Paribas in New York said ahead of the report, according to Bloomberg.

The unemployment rate rose to 8.3 percent in July, a five-month high. It has been soaring near or above that percentage since February 2009. The news impacted Wall Street this morning as U.S. stock market futures fell, according to the Associated Press. Dow Jones industrial was down 26 points, S&P dropped 3.7 points and NASDAQ fell 8 points.

The brittle job market could incite the Federal Reserve to take further action and aggravate the economy, said Jennifer Lee, an economist at BMO Capital Markets, to the Associated Press.

Companies are delaying in the hiring process while waiting for the Feds to make a move, which many economists think will come at the next Federal Reserve meeting Sept. 12-13, Reuters reported.

"A separate report by financial information firm Markit showed some of the weakest growth in the manufacturing sector in the last three years, held back by a slowdown in hiring and sluggish overseas demand for American goods," according to Reuters.

Outside of the United States, a slowdown in Asia and the continuing saga of the European debt crisis are also keeping business and investors at bay. The European debt crisis has caused financial instutions to cut thousands of employees.

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