Many more Americans filed new unemployment claims last week than during the previous week, as a resurgence in COVID-19 cases heading into the winter led to more business-constraining social distancing restrictions and pushed more people out of work.

The Department of Labor released its weekly report on new jobless claims Thursday morning at 8:30 a.m. ET. Here were the main results in the report, compared to consensus estimates compiled by Bloomberg:

  • Initial jobless claims, week ended Dec. 5: 853,000 vs. 725,000 expected and 712,000 during the prior week

  • Continuing claims, week ended Nov. 28: 5.757 million vs. 5.21 million expected and 5.552 million during the prior week

Jobless claims rose more than anticipated after a brief dip during the previous period. Many economists chalked up the end of November’s greater-than-anticipated improvement in new weekly jobless claims to a technical quirk with adjusting for the Thanksgiving holiday, rather than the start of a sustained trend lower in new claims. In the first five days of December alone, new COVID-19 cases totaled 1 million in the U.S., and additional restrictions across numerous states came into play.

Thursday’s report ended a seven-week streak during which new jobless claims held below 800,000. New weekly claims remain more than three times greater than they were before the pandemic, when they were averaging about 200,000 per week.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 29: A woman walks by an American Express and Resy-sponsored outdoor dining area at Sadelle's  in SoHo on November 29, 2020 in New York City. The pandemic continues to burden restaurants and bars as businesses struggle to thrive with evolving government restrictions and social distancing plans which impact keeping businesses open yet challenge profitability. (Photo by Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images)

Continuing jobless claims, meanwhile, were expected to fall further to 5.21 million for the week ended November 28, continuing to make strides lower after hitting a pandemic-era high of nearly 25 million in May. However, this metric has been flattered for months by the fact that millions of individuals have exhausted state unemployment insurance and rolled onto longer-term federal unemployment programs.

The number of Americans joining the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, which offers individuals an additional 13 weeks worth of benefits after they use up their allotted six months of continuing benefits, rose by nearly 60,000, according to last week’s data. As of last week’s data, 20.2 million Americans were claiming unemployment benefits of some form.

However, these additional federal unemployment programs are slated to expire by the end of the month, since they were authorized by Congress’ Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act back in the spring and have not yet been renewed. A bipartisan group of lawmakers unveiled a $908 billion new stimulus proposal last week, which would include enhanced federal jobless benefits of $300 per week — or half the amount offered in the original CARES Act — and an extension of pandemic-era unemployment insurance programs.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin also said Tuesday he presented a separate $916 billion proposal to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, which would also extend the unemployment programs but exclude weekly enhanced unemployment benefits.