Close to a million workers in the United States have filed new unemployment claims, the largest weekly figure in months, the Labor Department said Thursday.

The department said in its weekly report that 965,000 more U.S. workers filed new jobless claims by the end of last week.

The new figure is an increase of more than 180,000 from the previous week and the largest since August.

Thursday’s report showed significantly more claims than most analysts expected. Many experts had predicted the figure would be below 800,000.

The department said in its report that the unemployment rate for the week ending Jan. 9 was 3.7%. It also revised down the previous week’s figure by 3,000 claims.

There are 5.3 million continuing claims in the United States, which lag initial claims by a week.

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