Jobless claims hit 500K

The Department of Labor on Thursday announced that during the week ending Aug. 14 jobless claims increased by 12,000 to 500,000, from the previous week's revised figure of 488,000.

The report is an indication that employers continue to postpone hiring decisions, and could mean that the overall 9.5 percent unemployment rate is unlikely to fall over the short term. 

Today's news marks the third week in a row where jobless claims have increased and took some economists by surprise.