U.S. weekly jobless claims rise to one-month high of 861,000

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WASHINGTON, Feb. 18 (Xinhua) — Initial jobless claims last week in the United States rose to one-month high of 861,000, indicating stalled recovery in the labor market, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

In the week ending Feb. 13, the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits increased by 13,000 from the previous week’s upwardly revised level of 848,000, according to a report released by the department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“The modest increase in jobless claims, on top of a hefty upward revision to last week’s data, suggests the labor market’s recovery continues to tread water,” Sarah House, senior economist at Wells Fargo Securities, wrote in an analysis.

The latest report also showed that the number of people continuing to collect regular state unemployment benefits in the week ending Feb. 6 decreased by 64,000 to 4.5 million.

Meanwhile, the total number of people claiming benefits in all programs — state and federal combined — for the week ending Jan. 30 decreased by 1.3 million to 18.3 million, as the country continues to grapple with the fallout of surging COVID-19 infections.

According to the latest monthly employment report released by the Labor Department, U.S. employers added just 49,000 jobs in January, after slashing downwardly revised 227,000 jobs in December.

“While claims figures the next few weeks will likely be distorted by recent weather events, we look for the trend to improve more materially over March,” House said. Enditem

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