US unemployment claims hit their highest level since mid-September

Posted December 10, 2020 8:36 a.m. EST

— Another 853,000 Americans filed for first-time unemployment benefits last week on a seasonally adjusted basis, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

Initial claims rose from the prior week. It was the third increase in the past four weeks.

On top of regular applications for jobless benefits, 427,609 workers filed claims under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, which is designed to help people such as the self-employed. This number is not adjusted for seasonality.

Together, first-time claims totaled 1.4 million last week, not adjusted for seasonal changes.

Continued jobless claims, which count workers who have filed for unemployment benefits for at least two weeks in a row, rose to 5.8 million with seasonal adjustments.

This is a developing story. It will be updated.

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