The number of Americans filing first-time claims for unemployment benefits climbed higher last week, mentioning that an explosion of new coronavirus infections and business restrictions were fueling layoffs and undermining the labor market recovery.

Initial claims for state jobless benefits reached a seasonally adjusted 778,000 for the week ended November 21, compared to 748,000 in the previous week, the Labor Department stated on Wednesday.

The weekly claims report, the most timely data on the economy’s health, was published a day early due to Thursday’s Thanksgiving Day holiday.

The US has been hammered by a new wave of coronavirus infections, with daily cases surpassing 100,000 since early November. More than 12 million people have been infected in the country, according to a Reuters tally of official data.