Initial Jobless Claims Unexpectedly Rise to 1.106 Million

imageEconomic Indicators8 minutes ago (Aug 20, 2020 08:36AM ET)

By Noreen Burke — The number of Americans applying for initial unemployment benefits unexpectedly increased to 1.106 million last week, adding to fears that the recovery in the labor market is stalling. The prior week’s figure was revised up to 971,000 from 963,000.

Economists had forecast a decline to 925,000.

The number of continuing claims, which are reported with a one-week lag to initial claims, decreased to 14.844 million. The previous week’s figure was also revised downwards to 15.480 million.

The data comes a day after the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s July meeting showed that officials already see the rebound in the labor market slowing. The minutes also reiterated that the outlook for the economy hinges on the outlook for the virus.

The number of new daily coronavirus infections has eased since last month, but is still averaging around 50,000, slowing the pace of business reopenings.

The minutes also noted that since many provisions of the government’s coronavirus fiscal relief package are due to expire while the labor market is still weak, “additional fiscal aid would likely be important for supporting vulnerable families, and thus the economy more broadly, in the period ahead.”

–Reuters contributed to this report

Initial Jobless Claims Unexpectedly Rise to 1.106 Million

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