The number of Americans filing first-time for jobless benefits increased last week as a significant rise in new COVID-19 infections all across the country hobbled business operations.
According to a Labor Department Thursday report, initial claims for state unemployment benefits totaled a seasonally adjusted 885,000 for the week that ended on December 12th, compared to the 862,000 in the prior week.
The department pointed out that jobless claims in the United States are currently above their 665,000 peak during the Great Recession of 2007 and 2009, though they have dropped from a record 6.867 million in March when the lockdown measures were started to be imposed to contain the COVID-19 spread.
âThe recent increase in case counts suggests the labor market could slip even further in the winter months, as hinted at by the latest jobless claims report. Even with a vaccine and possibly more fiscal stimulus on the horizon, by this time next year the labor market will likely fall short of anyoneâs idea of full employmentâ JPMorgan economist Michael Feroli wrote in a note.
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