U.S. Jobless Claims Hit 5-Mo. High

First-time claims for unemployment insurance south of the border jumped to 965,000 last week amid signs of a slowdown in hiring due to pandemic restrictions, according to figures released Thursday by the U.S. Labor Department.

The total was worse than Wall Street estimates of 800,000 and above the previous week’s total of 784,000.

Markets reacted little to the number, as the decline in economic activity is expected to be met with more stimulus from Washington. President-elect Joe Biden later Thursday is announcing his hopes for another package likely in excess of $1 trillion.

Still, the jobless number for the week ended Jan. 9 was another sign of economic turmoil brought on by restrictions in activity aimed at combating the pandemic. The total was the highest since the week of Aug. 22, when just over one million claims were filed.