U.S initial weekly unemployment claims rise for first time in weeks

Some 742,000 people filed initial weekly unemployment claims in the United States last week, the Department of Labor said on Thursday, the first time applications rose in five weeks.

The figure was up by 31,000 from the previous week’s revised level, indicating that the recovery in the labour market is slowing amid a spiralling coronavirus outbreak and new shutdowns to curb its spread.

While the number is much lower than the spike of nearly 7 million at the height of the coronavirus pandemic in March, it remains significant compared to before the outbreak, when new weekly jobless claims usually hovered at around 200,000.

The U.S is currently seeing a record surge in daily coronavirus cases and hospitalisations, leading to states rolling back reopening and imposing new restrictions on businesses.

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