The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits increased last week and could grow further in the coming weeks amid disruptions from rising COVID-19 infections.
Source: US Department of Labor
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Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased by 7,000 to a seasonally adjusted 207,000 for the week ended Jan. 1. Claims plummeted to 200,000 in the prior week.
Applications usually increase during the holiday period, but a severe shortage of workers have distorted that seasonal pattern, leading to lower claims numbers in recent weeks. There were 10.6 million vacancies at the close of November.
Continuing claims, a figure that runs a week behind the headline number, also rising to 1.75 million, an increase of 36,000.
Weekly claims increased in New York (+8,922), Pennsylvania (+6,806), and Connecticut (+5,992).