Applications for U.S. state unemployment benefits rose for the first time in five weeks, suggesting the labor-market recovery is slowing amid a surging pandemic and fresh business restrictions.
Initial jobless claims in regular state programs totaled 742,000 in the week ended Nov. 14, up 31,000 from the prior week, Labor Department data showed Thursday. On an unadjusted basis, the figure increased by about 18,000.
Continuing claims -- the total pool of Americans on ongoing state unemployment benefits --fell 429,000 to 6.37 million in the week ended Nov. 7. The number of Americans claiming extended assistance continued to rise as many unemployed exhausted regular state benefits.
The main figures compared with economists’ projections for 700,000 initial claims and 6.4 million continuing claims, based on the median estimates in Bloomberg surveys.