(Reuters) - The number of Americans filing a new claim for unemployment benefits rose unexpectedly back above the 1 million mark last week, a setback for a struggling U.S. job market crippled by the coronavirus pandemic.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose to a seasonally adjusted 1.106 million for the week ended Aug. 15, from an upwardly revised 971,000 in the prior week, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast 925,000 applications in the latest week.

The previous week’s level had marked the first time since March that new claims had registered below 1 million. With the latest data, new weekly claims have been below the 1 million mark for 21 of the last 22 weeks.

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