US weekly jobless claims rise to 870,000, more than economists expected

New US jobless claims for the week that ended on Saturday totaled 870,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. The reading came in above the consensus economist estimate of 840,000 and marked an increase from the previous week. Continuing claims, the aggregate sum of Americans receiving unemployment benefits, reached 12.6 million […]

  • New US jobless claims for the week that ended on Saturday totaled 870,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. The reading came in above the consensus economist estimate of 840,000 and marked an increase from the previous week.
  • Continuing claims, the aggregate sum of Americans receiving unemployment benefits, reached 12.6 million for the week that ended on September 12. That was higher than economists’ forecasts but declined from the prior period.
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The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits increased last week as the US economic recovery trudged onward without fresh stimulus.

New US weekly jobless claims totaled an unadjusted 870,000 for the week that ended on Saturday, the Labor Department reported Thursday. That reading surpassed the median economist estimate of 840,000 compiled by Bloomberg and marked an increase from the prior week.

Continuing claims, which track the aggregate total of Americans receiving unemployment benefits, reached 12.6 million for the week that ended on September 12. The reading is a slight decrease from the prior week’s revised number but exceeded economists’ median estimate of 12.3 million.

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The roughly 62 million unemployment-insurance filings over the nearly seven months of the coronavirus pandemic handily overshadow the 37 million filings during the 18-month Great Recession. Thursday’s reading still surpassed the 665,000 filings during the Great Recession’s worst week.

Though the Labor Department’s latest report showed that claims decreased markedly from their April peak, the labor market’s rate of recovery has slowed. Jobless claims continue to hover at elevated levels, and weekly decreases have steadily shrunk.

The unemployment rate was 8.4% in August. September nonfarm-payrolls data set to be released on October 2 will inform economists whether hiring lasted into the fall or weakened.

Little has emerged from Congress to further aid the labor-market recovery. Democrats and Republicans have all but given up on stimulus negotiations, instead shifting their focus to the new Supreme Court vacancy and passing a federal budget. Many experts described March’s CARES Act as a boon for hiring after the outbreak, but mostly exhausted relief programs leave little assistance for American businesses and unemployed people.

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