I added the quotes around “above expectations” in the title, but Reuters didn’t. They just keep not expecting what just keeps on happening.

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose more than expected last week, pointing to a labor market that is struggling to regain momentum.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 418,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims rising to 410,000 from a previously reported 405,000.

“We’re just stuck in this trend between 410,000 and 430,000. Generally we’re just really not seeing any improvement but also not much worsening,” said Jeffrey Greenberg, an economist with Nomura Securities in New York.

What we’re seeing is the Obama economy, in which businesses have been slammed with so much certain punishment and uncertain regulation and requirements that no one is hiring. We have economic stagnation. If we continue to see inflation, we’ll end up with stagflation — a word right out of the Carter era.

That’s not a good thing.