U.S. weekly jobless claims increase further this week

The number of Americans filing first-time claims for jobless benefits unexpectedly increased last week as a relentless surge in new COVID-19 infections hobbled business operations, offering more evidence that the economy’s recovery from the pandemic recession was faltering.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits totaled a seasonally adjusted 885,000 for the week ended Dec. 12, compared to 862,000 in the prior week, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast 800,000 applications in the latest week.

Jobless claims are above their 665,000 peak during the 2007-09 Great Recession, though they have dropped from a record 6.867 million in March.

(c) Reuters


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