The number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits unexpectedly rose last week as new business closures to control the spiraling COVID-19 infections unleashed a fresh wave of layoffs and further slowed the labor market recovery.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits totaled a seasonally adjusted 742,000 for the week ended Nov. 14, compared to 711,000 in the prior week, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast 707,000 applications in the latest week.

Daily new COVID-19 cases in the United States have been exceeding 100,000 since early this month, pushing the number of infections in the country above 11 million, according to a Reuters tally. Forty-one states have reported daily record increases in coronavirus infections and 20 have registered new all-time highs in coronavirus-related deaths from day to day.

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