Uncommon Misconceptions has, I think, put his finger on the source of the problem when trying to follow the unemployment news.
It's like trying to follow that hot stock your buddy recommended by jumping over to Yahoo Finance 3 times a day to see what it's doing. Eventually you'll figure out that it's fluctuating. Little more than that either. It's when you take a longer view, with a longer-term floating average that the jiggles in the price curve start to make sense.
When the unemployment claims dip, the media puts it on page one, and begins singing "Happy Days". When the new claims rise, the story moves to the footnotes on page 77. Click the link and see the graph with both the weekly new claims numbers and a moving average that shows the rate inching upward slowly.