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New Unemployment Claims Have Declined For Third Straight Week

The number of new U.S. workers filing unemployment claims has declined for the third straight week, the Labor Department said Thursday in its weekly report.

The department said 375,000 workers filed initial claims last week, a figure that’s right in line with what most analysts expected.

The weekly figures have been hovering around 400,000 for several weeks. In mid-July, the figure returned above the 400,000 mark, but the weeks since have been below that level.

The department also said Thursday that there were 2.86 million continuing claims, which lag initial claims by a week. That number is the lowest of any report since March 2020.

Thursday’s report also revised up last week’s new filings by 2,000 claims.

For last week, Illinois, New Jersey and California saw the highest unemployment rates — while Indiana, Georgia and Rhode Island saw the greatest increase in filings.

The report is the first since the department released its July jobs report last week, which showed close to 1 million new positions for the month.

Altogether, some 12.1 million people were reportedly receiving benefits through eight separate state or federal programs as of July 24. That’s also a new pandemic low.

The number of people receiving compensation is expected to fall sharply in September once extra federal benefits for the unemployment benefits put in place during the pandemic expire.

Total claims averaged less than 2 million a week before the viral outbreak

The delta strain of the coronavirus doesn’t appear to have thrown a rapidly recovering U.S. economic recovery off course.

Last week the government reported that nearly 1 million new jobs were created in July. And a separate report showed that layoffs recently fell to an all-time low.

 

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