More signs the economic recovery is losing steam: the number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits rose more than expected last week.
The Labor Department reported Thursday 870,000 Americans registered for first time unemployment benefits. That’s higher than forecast and an increase from the week before. Economists had been expecting that number to drop. What’s more, data for the previous week was revised upward.
While claims have plummeted from the record of nearly 6.9 million filed in one week at the end of March, they’ve recently held steady at historically troublesome levels above 800,000. And they remain well above the levels of the Great Recession.
Lackluster demand for services has kept layoffs high as job cuts spread to sectors that at first were not hurt by mandated business closures such as financial services and technology. Next month, tens of thousands of airline workers could be laid off or furloughed unless the White House and Congress come up with another rescue package.
Thursday's disappointing report sent stocks and Treasury yields lower at the market open.