The number of first-time jobless claims increased by 21,000 to 431,000 for the work week ending September 8, substantially higher than the 404,000 claims anticipated by analysts polled by Reuters.
The revised figure for initial unemployment insurance claims for the previous week stood at 410,000.
The more closely watched four-week moving average, which smoothes out weekly fluctuations, surged to 411,000, up from 399,500 in the previous week, its highest level since July.
The total number of the unemployed still lining up for unemployment benefits continued to increase, reaching close to 3.35 million, highs not seen since the early 1990s when the US struggled with recession.
The states reporting the largest increases in claims were:
- Michigan, rising 3,829 with increased layoffs in the automobile industry
- Indiana, up 1,713 with layoffs in the primary metals industry
- Arkansas, where claims increased by 1,634
- Texas, up 1,304 with layoffs in primary and fabricated metals, apparel, non-electrical machinery, and transportation equipment
States reporting decreases were:
- New York, where claims fell by 2,639
- North Carolina, where they were down by 1,876
- Alabama, where claims decreased by 1,202