The Labor Department said the number of newly laid off people seeking jobless benefits increased by a seasonally adjusted 7,000 to 455,000 last week, the highest level since late March 2002. Wall Street had expected that new claims would rise to around 430,000.
When this number gets to 600,000 + or - The Economy will take a step down to a new level of concern.
As for Oil - it is being controlled - I'm sure the refineries are not going to let the Barrel Price get fully to the pump - they have been losing on the "crack spread*" when Oil Passed 125 on its way to 150.
Oil prices are just one factor in affecting Consumption, prices, inflation, etc. Unemployment is a result of all of the factors affecting the economy.
On another note: a familiar statement that these big banks are too big to let fail - this is the government's reasoning for the bailouts. Let's face it...nothing is too big to fail. However, there is an economic family who is protecting "their own."
* Crack Spread is the difference between what the refiners pay for crude and sell as Gasoline, Diesel, etc.