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To analysts' surprise, 860,000 in U.S. file new unemployment claims

To analysts' surprise, 860,000 in U.S. file new unemployment claims
The "Fearless Girl" statue is pictured outside the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street in New York City on January 12. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 18 (UPI) -- Another 860,000 workers in the United States have filed new unemployment claims, the Labor Department said in its weekly report Thursday, almost 100,000 more than economists predicted.

The department said a total of 861,000 people filed for new jobless claims last week, an increase of about 13,000 over the previous week.

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The report also revised up the previous week's claims by 55,000, a significant increase.

Most analysts had expected about 770,000 new claims.

The department said there are just under 4.5 million continuing claims, which lag initial filings by a week. The unemployment rate for last week was 3.2%.

The report shows that the COVID19 pandemic continues to impact the U.S. workforce, despite some positive signals in the economy.

A day earlier, the Commerce Department said retail sales in the United States increased by more than 5% during the month of January, far greater growth than economists were anticipating.

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