First-Time Jobless Claims Edge Up

Roy Maurer By Roy Maurer April 8, 2021
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​States reported that 744,000 U.S. workers filed for new unemployment benefits during the week ending Apr. 3, an increase of 16,000 from the previous week. The increase is a surprise to economists who were expecting that new weekly jobless claims likely fell back below 700,000 after an unexpected rise in late March. The total number of workers continuing to claim unemployment benefits fell to 3.7 million. 

About 18 million people overall are receiving some type of unemployment aid. That includes 13.1 million people enrolled in the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program for gig workers and the self-employed and the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, which offers an additional 24 weeks of benefits.

Last week, the government reported that employers added 916,000 jobs in March, and the unemployment rate dipped to 6 percent, the lowest since the pandemic began, with nearly 350,000 people rejoining the labor force.

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