- Weekly jobless claims posted a significant increase last week, rising to 281,000 from the 211,000 a week ago.
- That was the highest total since September 2017, according to the Labor Department.
- This week’s release is likely just a preview of what’s to come as companies pare back due to the coronavirus crisis.
Jobless claims rose to 281,000 last week, reflecting only the first indications of the impact the coronavirus will have on the U.S. employment picture.
That number reflected a significant rise from last week’s 211,000, which was unrevised from the initial estimate, according to the Labor Department. It was the highest number since Sept. 2, 2017.
The department said the numbers were “clearly attributable to impacts from the COVID-19 virus. A number of states specifically cited COVID-19 related layoffs, while many states reported increased layoffs in service related industries broadly and in the accommodation and food services industries specifically, as well as in the transportation and warehousing industry, whether COVID-19 was identified directly or not.”
The four-week moving average rose to 232,250, up 16,500 from a week ago and the highest level since Jan. 27, 2018. The previous week saw an upward revision to 215,750 from 214,000. The continuing claims level edged up to just over 1.7 million.