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U.S. weekly jobless claims increase moderately

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose last week and could increase further in the coming weeks amid disruptions from soaring COVID-19 infections. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 7,000 to a seasonally adjusted 207,000 for the week ended Jan. 1, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Claims dropped to 200,000 in the prior week. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast 197,000 applications for the latest week. Applications typically increase during the holiday season, but an acute shortage of workers has disrupted…

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