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Another 709,000 Americans filed for unemployment claims last week

1 year 2 weeks 2 days ago Thursday, November 12 2020 Nov 12, 2020 November 12, 2020 9:03 AM November 12, 2020 in News
Source: CNN

During the week of the 2020 Presidential Election, another 709,000 Americans filed first-time claims for unemployment benefits, CNN reports. 

The statistics, reported by the Labor Department were reported Thursday and indicate a slightly smaller number of initial claims than economists previously anticipated.

In addition to this, another 298,154 workers filed for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, a program approved under the CARES Act to provide benefits to those ineligible for regular state aid, such as the self-employed.

Collectively, first-time claims stood at 1 million last week, not adjusted for seasonal fluctuations. 

That was a new low for the total number.

In the eight months since the COVID-19 health crisis began in the US, the resulting layoffs have left millions with financial problems.

Continued jobless claims, which count people who have filed for benefits for at least two weeks in a row, stood at 6.8 million -- also slightly less than expected and down from the previous week.

But, CNN notes, the falling number of continued claims may be a red flag for economists, because it might be going down for the wrong reason. States provide jobless benefits for a limited time, ordinarily only for 26 weeks. After that, people roll into other programs, like the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, which was designed in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

And, the number of citizens receiving aid through PEUC grew to 4.1 million in the week ended October 24, from just below 4 million in the prior week. As expected, this is raising concerns about long-term joblessness, and such pandemic-era programs are set to expire at year-end unless Congress takes action to extend them.

According to CNN, in total more than 21 million Americans are receiving jobless benefits through some government program.

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