Applications for unemployment benefits rose by 15,000 in the week ended Sept. 8, increasing to 382,000 from the previous week. Hurricane Isaac was responsible for roughly 9,000 of those filings. The numbers were higher than economists expected, according to Bloomberg. The week's filings were down more than 9% from 421,000 in the prior year.

The poor jobs market will likely be a central point in today's Fed meeting, when Chairman Bernanke is expected to announce new policy initiatives aimed at boosting the economy and speeding up growth.

August's jobs report showed the unemployment rate falling 0.2% to 8.1%, partly due to people stopping looking for work.

Fool contributor John Divine owns none of the stocks mentioned in the story above. You can follow him on Twitter @divinebizkid and on Motley Fool CAPS @TMFDivine.

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