New Jobless Numbers Going in Wrong Direction

Nearly 900K applied for benefits last week
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 15, 2020 9:00 AM CDT
Markets Aren't Happy With New Jobless Figures
A pedestrian walks past a Zara store with a "Now Hiring" sign in the window on Oct. 12 along the Lincoln Road area in Miami Beach, Fla.   (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

New unemployment data came out Thursday morning, and the numbers are not sitting well with Wall Street investors. The Labor Department says 898,000 people applied for jobless benefits last week, exceeding estimates by about 70,000, reports CNBC. The figure is up more than 50,000 from the previous week and is the highest since August. The stock market opened an hour after the report came out, with the Dow down about 300 points in the early going, or roughly 1%. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq were down similar percentages.

"Given that we’re seven months into the pandemic now, these are still incredibly high numbers for initial claims," AnnElizabeth Konkel of the job site Indeed tells the Wall Street Journal. Also contributing to the sour mood on Wall Street is the increase in COVID cases and continuing uncertainty about whether lawmakers in DC will be able to settle on a coronavirus relief package, per the Journal. (More unemployment stories.)

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