August 13, 2009 | Diane Johnson | 1 Comment Unemployment unexpectedly rose last week for newly laid-off workers, while continuing claims fell. The increase in new claims may have risen, but it is below the 600,000 peak level the country has experienced for some months. There are 558,000 new jobless claims, which has increased from last weeks 554,000 the Labor Department Reported. Experts expected that the new claims would have dropped to 545,000 instead of rising. The number of people receiving benefits fell to 6.2 million from 6.34 million the previous week. However, it's not that impressive when you really think about it. Instead of these people finding work, most have used all their unemployment benefits and are no longer eligible, which means even though they may be unemployed, they are not counted as being unemployed. So the unemployment rate is actually higher than these statistics may lead individuals to believe. The economy is still in trouble. Typically economists rate an economy's health by the unemployment numbers. If the new unemployment numbers are below 325,000 then the economy is healthy. However, if the numbers are above then the economy's in trouble. The new unemployment claims have not been under 300,000 since 2007. The government has stepped up efforts by trying to stimulate and improve the economy, but it doesn't seem to be working. Many American's are starting to wonder what is around the bend. They can't tell the economy is going to get slightly better or a lot worse over time. Hopefully the economy will improve, but currently consumers aren't ready to start spending their money.