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Initial Jobless Claims Unexpectedly Rise to 1.106 Million

Economic Indicators Aug 20, 2020 08:36AM ET
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By Noreen Burke

Investing.com -- The number of Americans applying for initial unemployment benefits unexpectedly increased to 1.106 million last week, adding to fears that the recovery in the labor market is stalling. The prior week's figure was revised up to 971,000 from 963,000.

Economists had forecast a decline to 925,000. The number of people claiming Pandemic Unemployment Assistance for the first time also rose by 53,000 to 543,000, suggesting that the rate of layoffs remains high despite the gradual reopening of the economy.

The number of continuing claims, which are reported with a one-week lag to initial claims, decreased to 14.844 million. The previous week's figure was also revised downwards to 15.480 million.

Including another 12.5 million or so Americans who are claiming Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, the total number of people claiming unemployment benefits as of August 1st fell by some 200,000 to 28.06 million.

The data comes a day after the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s July meeting showed that officials already see the rebound in the labor market slowing. The minutes also reiterated that the outlook for the economy hinges on the outlook for the virus.

The number of new coronavirus infections has eased markedly since last month, and is now at its lowest since June, but is still averaging over 40,000 a day, according to John Hopkins data.

The minutes also noted that since many provisions of the government's coronavirus fiscal relief package are due to expire while the labor market is still weak, "additional fiscal aid would likely be important for supporting vulnerable families, and thus the economy more broadly, in the period ahead."

Elsewhere, there was further evidence of the recovering flattening out as the Philadephia Federal Reserve's manufacturing index fell for a second straight month, and by more than expected, to 17.2.  The employment subindex fell particularly sharply, while capital spending and new orders held up slightly better.

--Reuters contributed to this report

 

Initial Jobless Claims Unexpectedly Rise to 1.106 Million
 

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Comments (34)
Tokyo Tiger
Tokyo Tiger Aug 20, 2020 10:00PM ET
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the market does not care about 1 million deadbeats.
Ronald Warren
Ronald Warren Aug 20, 2020 10:00PM ET
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You got some nerve! These Americans had jobs, lives and were paying their bills!!
Mike Lore
Mike Lore Aug 20, 2020 2:06PM ET
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Why would you use 'unexpectedly'? Don't you see anything? Disgusted.
Geoffrey Smith
Geoffrey Smith Aug 20, 2020 2:06PM ET
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The consensus forecast was for a decline. Unexpectedly in that sense.
George Pichurov
George Pichurov Aug 20, 2020 1:41PM ET
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but not unexpectedly the market rallied.
Plopseven Schwartz
Plopseven Schwartz Aug 20, 2020 12:50PM ET
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Apprently “give all the taxpayer money to the rich” wasn’t a solid economic recovery plan.
Fabio falec
falec Aug 20, 2020 12:50PM ET
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The problem is that it look that at least from 2008 Fed is following this MMT theory with QE. Crazy is that, during the great recession (QE first used), Ben Bernanke (Fed chairman) stated that the money used for bond purchases is not even the taxpayers money. Central banks as Fed have rights to create my own currency (print money from thin air). And they just discovered that there is almost no limit to the debt-to-GDP ratio. The only limit would be that the inflation would raise, but it is looking that money printing doesn't lead to inflation. In fact, if you look at Japan, leader in money printing and debt, they are now in deflation.
Kelly Mayer
Kelly Mayer Aug 20, 2020 12:23PM ET
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yeah, next week they will just state they made a mistake with this week's number. etc etc
Michael Paulsen
Michael Paulsen Aug 20, 2020 11:43AM ET
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Just noise. We are bullish on stocks. S&P 3800 year end. The unemployed will be alright.
Xue Bai
Xue Bai Aug 20, 2020 11:43AM ET
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The unemployed should buy stocks in this pandemic bulllish market.
Skidmark Stain
Skidmark Stain Aug 20, 2020 11:20AM ET
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americans so misinformed. to bad dont fact check.
Morne de Wet
Morne de Wet Aug 20, 2020 11:04AM ET
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Chickens are coming home to roost
Heine Pedersen
Heine Pedersen Aug 20, 2020 11:03AM ET
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Not unexpected with all the stores closing..
Tabi Chu
Tabi Chu Aug 20, 2020 11:02AM ET
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Whats so unexpected? Folks were sitting at home collecting free checks and now its gone... my dog knows this!
Tre Hsi
Tre Hsi Aug 20, 2020 11:02AM ET
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"Folks were sitting at home collecting free checks and now its gone"  -  how does that impact changes in weekly jobless claims?
 
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