U.S. Jobless Claims Unexpectedly Rebound From Eight-Month Low

After reporting initial jobless claims at their lowest level since before the coronavirus-induced lockdowns in the previous week, the Labor Department released a report on Thursday showing an unexpected rebound in jobless claims in the week ended November 14th.

The Labor Department said jobless claims climbed to 742,000, an increase of 31,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 711,000.

The rebound came as a surprise to economists, who had expected jobless claims to edge down to 707,000 from the 709,000 originally reported for the previous week.

In the previous week, jobless claims fell to their lowest level since hitting 282,000 in the week ended March 14th.

“The risk may be for a further rise in claims as coronavirus cases surge and some states impose restrictions on activity,” said Nancy Vanden Houten, Lead U.S. Economist at Oxford Economics.

Meanwhile, the report said the less volatile four-week moving average fell to 742,000, a decrease of 13,750 from the previous week’s revised average of 755,750.

The Labor Department said continuing claims, a reading on the number of people receiving ongoing unemployment assistance, also tumbled by 429,000 to 6.372 million in the week ended November 7th.

The four-week moving average of continuing claims slumped to 7,054,500, a decrease of 525,000 from the previous week’s revised average of 7,579,500.

Vanden Houten said, “Continuing claims for regular benefits extended their decline, but that positive trend is partly outweighed by the number of unemployed individuals who have exhausted those benefits, evidence of more long-lasting labor market scarring.”

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