A new record we don't want: Continuing jobless claims hit 5.3 million

There is perhaps no more telling snapshot of the current pronounced U.S. recession than continuing jobless claims, which measures how long it takes to find new employment. This week continuing claims rose another 193,000 to yet another record -- 5.3 million adults -- the U.S. Labor Department announced Thursday, as slack hiring remained pervasive.

Meanwhile, initial jobless claims increased 9,000 to 654,000 for the week ending March 7. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News had expected this week's initial jobless claims to total 646,000. The 4-week moving average rose 6,750 to 650,000.