U.S JOBLESS CLAIMS BELOW 1-MILLION FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE MARCH
The Labor Department in the United States reported that about 963,000 people sought the benefits last week, down from nearly 1.2 million the week before.
The figures have been subsiding since peaking at 6.9 million in late March.
But they remain extremely high, driving the debate in Washington over the need for further stimulus.
Reports from the Labor Department showed that more than 28 million people – nearly one in five American workers – were still collecting benefits in the week ended 25 July.
Prior to the pandemic, the highest number of new jobless claims recorded in a week was 695,000, set in 1982.
Hiring in the US slowed last month as the country struggled to contain the coronavirus, with employers adding 1.8 million jobs, down from 4.8 million in June.
The unemployment rate was 10.2%, down from April’s 14.7% but still higher than 10% peak during the 2007-2009 financial crisis.