Initial jobless claims for the US state unemployment benefits unexpectedly climbed to the highest level in three months, amid a surge in COVID-19 cases.
In the week ended Dec. 12, seasonally adjusted initial unemployment claims rose by +23,000 to 885,000, according to Labor Department data. The figure is well above the 818,000 expected by economists surveyed by Bloomberg.
However, continuing claims for state programs fell by -273,000 to 5.51 million in the week ended Dec. 5, compared to 5.7 million forecast by Bloomberg survey.
The increase in initial claims includes increasing filings in California and Illinois, states that are experiencing particularly restrictive lockdowns. Additionally, the cooler weather also has a role to play in job losses.