(FOX BUSINESS) -- The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly ticked higher last week, hitting the highest level in three months.
Figures released Wednesday by the Labor Department show initial claims for the week ended Nov. 19 rose to 240,000 from the upwardly revised 223,000 recorded a week earlier. That is above the 2019 pre-pandemic average of 218,000 claims and marks the highest level since mid-August.
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Continuing claims, filed by Americans who are consecutively receiving unemployment benefits, rose slightly to 1.55 million for the week ended Nov. 12, up by 48,000 from the previous week's revised level. One year ago, nearly 2.28 million Americans were receiving unemployment benefits.