Weekly jobless claims rise unexpectedly as stimulus boost fades

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The number of first-time filers for unemployment benefits were slightly higher than expected last week as the labor market continues its sluggish recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. The Labor Department reported Thursday that initial jobless claims for the week ending Sept. 19 came in at 870,000, adjusted for seasonal fluctuations. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected first-time claims at 850,000, down slightly from the previous week’s 860,000.

Without the adjustment, about 825,000 people filed last week, up from the previous week’s 796,000. More than 6 million people a week filed during the peak of the layoffs in the spring, when Congress approved $600 a week in supplemental benefits. The supplemental benefits expired this summer.

New York and Georgia saw the biggest week-over-week increases in initial claims, the department said. Claims in New York jumped by more than 9,000 last week and first-time filers in Georgia rose by more than 6,000.

Thursday’s data comes as U.S. lawmakers struggle to move forward with a new fiscal stimulus package, something economists and the Federal Reserve argue is needed for the economic recovery to continue.

Continuing claims, which include those receiving unemployment benefits for at least two straight weeks, decreased by 167,000 to 12.58 million during the week ending Sept. 12. Continuing claims data is delayed by one week.

Weekly jobless claims rise unexpectedly as stimulus boost fades, CNBC, Sep 24

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