U.S. Jobless Claims Top Expectations

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits for the first time were slightly higher than expected last week as the labour market continues its sluggish recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

The U.S. Labor Department reported Thursday that initial jobless claims for the week ending Sept. 19 came in at 870,000. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected first-time claims to come in at 850,000, down slightly from the 860,000 claims reported for the previous week.

The department also said New York and Georgia saw the biggest week-over-week increases in initial claims. Claims in the Empire State rose by more than 9,000 last week and first-time filers in Georgia came jumped by more than 6,000.

Thursday’s data comes as U.S. politicians struggle to move forward with a new fiscal stimulus package, something economists and the Federal Reserve argue is needed for the recovery from the COVID-led downturn to continue.