By Noreen Burke
Investing.com — The number of Americans applying for initial unemployment benefits unexpectedly increased to 898,000 last week, its highest since late August, compounding fears that the recovery in the labor market is stalling.
Economists had forecast a decline to 825,000. The prior week’s figure was revised up to 845,000 from an initially reported 840,000.
The number of continuing claims, which are reported with a one-week lag to initial claims, decreased by over 1 million 10.018 million, a bigger fall than expected. The previous week’s figure was revised up by 200,000 to 11.183 million. Continuing claims are falling in part because many people have exhausted their eligibility for regular state benefits.
In the week to September 26, the last for which data are available, just under 800,000 signed off from the regular state rolls, while 818,000 joined the rolls for Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation. the federal program that provides up to 13 extra weeks of benefits for such people. The overall number of people claiming benefits linked to unemployment fell by some 215,000 to 25.29 million in the last full week of September.
The report comes a day after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin quashed hopes for additional aid to support the faltering economic recovery before the election.
The weekly claims data have been distorted recently by the suspension of data filings from California, which had cited a need to address fraud and other administrative issues in its numbers. California’s number is still frozen at the last level registered before the pause, even though the two-week suspension has now actually ended.
U.S. Initial Jobless Claims Unexpectedly Rise to 898,000 Last Week
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