An unexpected increase in unemployment benefits in the United States

The number of Americans filing new jobless claims last week increased unexpectedly even as the labor market continued to recover steadily.

The U.S. Department of Labor said Thursday that total first-time government jobless claims increased by 16,000 to a seasonally adjusted level of 351,000 for the week ending September 18. Economists interviewed by Reuters had expected 320,000 orders in the past week.

Claims have dropped from a peak record of 6.149 million in early April 2020, but remain above the 200,000-250,000 range which is considered consistent with a strong labor market.

The number of Americans filing new unemployment benefits last week fell as layoffs fell to their lowest level in more than 24 years in August, indicating that the labor market is advancing at a rapid pace even as Covid-19 cases are in increase. 19.

The prime Government unemployment claims fell 14,000 to seasonally adjusted 340,000 for the week ending August 28. This is the lowest level since mid-March 2020, when non-essential businesses were closed to slow the first wave of the coronavirus.

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