Jobless Claims Surge, Erase Prior Weeks’ Declines

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose sharply last week, reversing the prior three weeks declines, but a recent strengthening of the labor market likely remains intact. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits surged 68,000 to a seasonally adjusted 368,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday. A Labor Department analyst said no states had been estimated and there were no special factors influencing the report. The labor market is strengthening, with nonfarm payrolls increasing solidly in October and November.


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