Speed Reads

the coronavirus crisis

Jobless claims rise to the highest level in almost 2 months

The number of Americans filing new jobless claims has unexpectedly risen to the highest level since August.

The Labor Department on Thursday said that 898,000 Americans filed first-time jobless claims last week, up more than 50,000 claims from the week before. This was not only more than the 830,000 claims economists had been anticipating but was also the highest number of weekly claims since Aug. 22, CNBC reports.

Additionally, Bloomberg reports that "on an unadjusted basis, the figure posted the largest one-week increase since July." Continuing claims declined by 1.165 million, the Labor Department said.

"Given that we're seven months into the pandemic now, these are still incredibly high numbers for initial claims," Indeed economist AnnElizabeth Konkel told The Wall Street Journal.

These numbers come after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin cast doubt on the possibility of there being a coronavirus relief deal before Election Day. It also comes as The New York Times reports new research has found that "poverty has returned to levels higher than before the coronavirus crisis" and that "the number of poor people has grown by eight million since May."