Dec. 17 (UPI) -- Close to 900,000 American workers have filed new unemployment claims, the Labor Department said Thursday in its weekly report.
The department said 885,000 workers filed new claims for the week ending Dec. 12, the most since early September. It also revised up last week's figure by 9,000 claims.
The new figure is more than most experts predicted. The bulk of economists had expected about 815,000 new jobless claims.
Continuing claims, which lag initial claims by one week, declined to about 5.5 million, the department said.
Thursday's assessment also noted more than 9 million continuing claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits and 5 million for those under Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation.
Without an extension from Congress, both programs will expire at the end of the month.
"[The new claims] really highlight the fragility of the labor market, particularly now as the second resurgence of the coronavirus [is] leading to further business closures and additional job losses, " economist Lindsey Piegza told CNBC.