- Initial jobless claims increased 19% to 853,000
- Consumer Price Index increased steadily by 0.2%
The number of initial unemployment insurance claims has reached the highest point since September following the Thanksgiving holiday.
Americans filed 853,000 claims during the week ending Dec. 5, up 19% from the previous week’s 716,000 and exceeding the Dow Jones estimate of 730,000, the Department of Labor reported.
This was the highest weekly total since Sept. 19 as the pace of weekly jobless claims jumped after filings caught up with a decline due to Thanksgiving.
The job market has struggled to recover as the number of COVID-19 cases continue to spike, with 15.5 million total cases and 290,000 total deaths reported nationwide on Dec. 10. Local and state authorities have imposed some restrictions in an effort to stop the spread of the virus, making the job recovery process even more difficult.
Continuing claims increased by 230,000 to 5.76 million, the first time that number has increased since August. Nonetheless, the insured unemployment rate has remained steady at 3.9%.
CPI Growth Better Than Expected
On a brighter note, the Consumer Price Index increased by 0.2% in November after being unchanged in October, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This was 10 basis points higher than expected and represents a 1.2% increase year-over-year.
The increase was broad-based, with no component accounting for more than a quarter of the growth. The food index declined in November, while the energy index increased for the month. Meanwhile, the indexes for lodging, household furnishings, recreation, apparel, airline fares, and motor vehicle insurance all increased. The indexes for used cars and trucks, medical care, and new vehicles declined.