ANOTHER 850,000 AMERICANS LIKELY FILED NEW UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIMS LAST WEEK
Another 850,000 Americans are expected to have filed for first-time unemployment benefits last week, ticking down just slightly from the prior week’s level and reaffirming the decelerating pace of recovery across key areas of the economy.
Last week’s new jobless claims totaled 884,000 to match the previous week’s sum, holding steady at a level that remained historically high, but below the pandemic-era peak of nearly 7 million weekly new claims in late March.
Before the pandemic, the previous record high for new claims had been 671,000 in September 1982.
At 884,000, claims last week came in below the 1 million marks for back-to-back weeks for the first time during the pandemic.
However, this was mostly due to a change in the way the Labor Department made its seasonal adjustments, which applied for the first time to the last jobless claims report for August.
According to the latest data, more than 13 million Americans were receiving benefits in regular state programs, and 14.5 million were receiving unemployment checks from the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, or the service aimed at self-employed and gig workers who don’t qualify for regular unemployment compensation but have still been impacted by the pandemic.
The total number of workers applying for unemployment benefits from all programs increased for a second consecutive week to 29.6 million claims as of the latest data, which covered the week ending August 22. About 1.6 million individuals had claimed benefits in all programs in the same week last year.