The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week, with some economists saying that expired federal jobless benefits could be driving the increase.
The economic recovery in the United States is still on track, but the labour market is signalling that growth is decelerating in the face of challenges ranging from the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19 to stingier jobless benefits.
Weekly jobless claims, a proxy for layoffs, rose by a stronger-than-expected 11,000 last week to 362,000, the US Department of Labor said on Thursday. That is the third week in a row that initial claims have increased, and the highest reading since early August.
The biggest jump by state came from California, where nearly 18,000 more people filed for initial unemployment benefits last week than the week before.
Goldman Sachs economists believe the expiration of federal unemployment benefits earlier this month may have…