US unemployment claims rise above 1m
THE number of laid-off workers seeking unemployment benefits in the US rose unexpectedly by 135,000 in the week ended Aug 15, lifting the total to back above one million.
Although the moving average continues to descend, the rise to 1.1 million was higher than economists’ expectations of 925,000, heightening concerns about the outlook for the world’s biggest economy.
The number of jobless claims had fallen in previous two weeks, dipping most recently below one million to 971,000 for the first time since March.
The continuing claims metric cooled to 14.8m from 15.5m, beneath the 15m expected, the Labour Department said. Continuing claims, which hit a peak of 24.9m in May, equalled 10.2pc of the workforce, down from 10.6pc. Richard Flynn, UK managing director at Charles Schwab, said: “Today’s rise in initial jobless will disappoint the market, especially following last week’s promising data. While hard-hit industries brought workers back in July, the level of weakness remains unprecedented, and the impact of virus-related rolling shutdowns could continue to reverse some of that improvement.”