Weekly jobless claims were worse than expected last week amid a plodding climb for the U.S. labor market from the damage inflicted by the coronavirus pandemic, CNBC reported.
The Labor Department reported 884,000 first-time filings for unemployment insurance, compared to the 850,000 expected by economists surveyed by Dow Jones. The total was unchanged from the previous week.
Continuing claims from those filing for at least two weeks rose from the previous week, hitting 13.385 million, an increase of 93,000 from a week ago and an indicator that the strong jobs improvement through the summer may be tailing off entering the fall.
The Labor Department changed its methodology in how it seasonally adjusts the numbers, so the past two weeks’ totals are not directly comparable to the reports from earlier in the pandemic. Claims not adjusted for seasonal factors totaled 857,148, an increase of 20,140 from the previous week.
The four-week moving average for claims through the week of Sept. 5, a number which helps smooth out volatility in weekly numbers, declined 21,750 to 970,750. The moving average for continuing claims fell 523,750 to 13.982 million.
Claims under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program continued to climb, rising more than 90,000 last week to 838,916. The total of those claiming benefits through all programs, though Aug. 22, also rose to just over 29.6 million.
At the state level, California showed the biggest increase at 17,953 while Florida reported a decline in claims of 9,049, according to unadjusted numbers.