Initial unemployment claims in Missouri hit their highest level in six months, totaling nearly 16,700 for the week ending Jan. 9 according to state labor data released Thursday.
Nationally, unemployment claims also reached numbers not seen in several months as the coronavirus pandemic appeared to cause a new wave of job losses. There were 965,000 initial filings for the week ending Jan. 9, the most since late August, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
State claims have topped 16,000 in consecutive weeks to start the year, far exceeding long-term historical averages and early-January levels from a year ago. An average of about 9,200 Missourians filed initial claims in the first two weeks of 2020.
The number of workers on Missouri’s unemployment rolls topped 52,000 for the week ending Jan. 2. That was up nearly 2,200, or about 4.4%, from the week before.