Unemployment claims in the United States increased last week

The number of Americans filing new unemployment claims increased last week and could continue to grow in the coming weeks in light of the turmoil caused by the rise in coronavirus infections.

The U.S. Department of Labor said on Thursday that jobless claims rose 7,000 to a seasonally adjusted level of 207,000 for the week ending Jan.1. Orders had dropped to 200,000 in the previous week.

Economists interviewed by Reuters expected 197,000 applications to be submitted last week.

Requests usually increase during the holiday season, but severe labor shortages have undermined this seasonal pattern, resulting in a seasonally adjusted number of applications in recent weeks.

At the end of November, there were 10.6 million jobs.

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