The number of Americans filing new unemployment claims increased to 742,000 last week as the economy continued to suffer the effects of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, according to the Department of Labor.
The Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) figure released Thursday represented an increase of new jobless claims compared to the week ending Nov. 7, in which there were 709,000 new jobless claims reported. New jobless claims have been below 800,000 for five consecutive weeks.
Economists expected Thursday’s jobless claims number to come in around 710,000, CNBC reported. New jobless claims fell below 1 million in the first week of August, which was the first time the weekly claims had fallen below 1 million since March.
“Initial jobless claims may be edging lower, but the fact that more than 20 million people are still seeking continuing jobless benefits in one form or another points to lost momentum in the labor market rebound,” a group of Wells Fargo Securities economists said in a note Friday, according to Yahoo Finance.
Roughly 20.3 million Americans continue to collect unemployment benefits, according to the BLS report Thursday.
Average coronavirus cases and deaths per million have been increasing steadily in the U.S. since mid-October, according to The COVID Tracking Project and The Financial Times. Pharmaceutical company Pfizer announced Monday that its vaccine was over 90% effective in trials causing the stock market to rally, according to The New York Times.
On Wednesday, the U.S. reported 1,869 new coronavirus-related deaths and 163,975 new cases while 79,410 Americans remained hospitalized from the virus, according to The COVID Tracking Project.
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