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U.S. Initial Jobless Claims Increase to 281,000, Highest Since 2017




imageEconomic IndicatorsMar 19, 2020 08:32AM ET
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(C) Reuters.

By Noreen Burke

Investing.com – The number of Americans applying for initial unemployment benefits rose more than expected to 281,000 in the latest week from a revised 211,000 the previous week, the U.S. Labor Department said on Thursday, indicating that the coronavirus pandemic is starting to disrupt the U.S. labor market.

According to Investing.com, the consensus forecast had been for an increase to 220,000.

The four-week moving average of initial claims, considered a more stable measure of the labor market trends as it filters out week-to-week volatility, rose to 232,250.

The report also showed the number of people already receiving benefits ticked up to 1.701 million.

The Labor Department said in its report that the increase in initial claims are clearly attributable to impacts from the COVID-19 virus.

“A number of states specifically cited COVID-19 related layoffs, while many states reported increased layoffs in service related industries broadly and in the accommodation and food services industries specifically, as well as in the transportation and warehousing industry, whether COVID-19 was identified directly or not,” the report said.

U.S. Initial Jobless Claims Increase to 281,000, Highest Since 2017

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