U.S. jobless claims jump to three-month high due to COVID-19 restrictions
The number of claims for jobless benefits rose last week as the US faced re-imposed COVID-19 restrictions, halting business operations and indicating a faltering recovery from the coronavirus recession.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits jumped 23,000 to a seasonally adjusted 885,000 for the week ended Dec. 12. The second straight weekly rise lifted claims to their highest level since September. A Reuters poll forecasted 800,000 applications in the latest week.
The unemployment claims record came along with other data on Thursday, including manufacturing activity in the mid-Atlantic region slowed in December as factories reported a sharp decrease in new orders and job growth.
However, the housing market remains afloat, with home building and permits powering ahead in November. This was due to record-low mortgage rates and pent-up demand.
The unemployment claims figure is past its 665,000 peak during the 2007-2009 Great Recession, albeit it has fallen from a record 6.867 million in March.