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Weekly US Unemployment Assistance Requests Rise Unexpectedly

Hundreds of people line up in front of a Kentucky Career Center hoping to find help with their unemployment claim in Frankfort, USA, June 18, 2020. REUTERS / Bryan Woolston Hundreds of people line up in front of a Kentucky Career Center hoping to find help with their unemployment claim in Frankfort, USA, June 18, 2020. REUTERS / Bryan Woolston

By Lucia Mutikani

WASHINGTON, Nov 19 (.) – Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits jumped unexpectedly last week as other business closures to stem the rise in COVID-19 infections led to layoffs and further slowed down the recovery of the labor market.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits grew to 742,000 at a seasonally adjusted rate in the week ending Nov. 14, up from 711,000 the week before, the Labor Department said Thursday.

Economists polled by . had expected 707,000 orders in the past week.

Daily new cases of COVID-19 in the United States have surpassed 100,000 since the beginning of this month, bringing the number of infections in the country to more than 11 million, according to a . tally. Forty-one of the 50 states have reported daily record increases in coronavirus infections and 20 have recorded new all-time highs in daily coronavirus-related deaths.

Many local administrations have imposed restrictions on companies, with a death toll that exceeds 250,000 since the pandemic began in the United States. President-elect Joe Biden will inherit the public health crisis and the fragile economy when he takes over from Donald Trump on January 20.

Unemployment benefit claims have fallen from a record 6.867 million in March, as nearly 80% of those temporarily laid off in March and April were rehired, accounting for most of the rebound in employment in the past six months. .

Coronavirus infections and restrictions will weigh heavily on bars and restaurants, as well as other service sector businesses that draw crowds.

“For the most part, companies in the service industries, such as restaurants and bars, have been rehiring as the lifting of closure restrictions in the spring and summer allowed them to reopen the business,” he said Bob Schwartz, Senior Economist at Oxford Economics in New York.

“Workers who have been lucky enough to get their jobs back are the ones most at risk of being suspended again,” he added.

The resurgence of COVID-19 cases coincides with the end of more than $ 3 trillion in government aid to businesses and workers, which helped preserve jobs and lift the economy from the depths of the worst recession since Great Britain. Depression.

Subsidy requests remain above the peak of 665,000 from the Great Recession of 2007-2009.

The government had reported earlier this month that nonfarm payrolls increased by 638,000 jobs in October, the smallest gain since the job recovery began in May.

Only 12.1 million of the 22.2 million jobs lost in March and April have been recovered.

(Report by Lucia Mutikani; edited in Spanish by Carlos Serrano)