First-Time Jobless Claims Decline to New Pandemic Low

Roy Maurer By Roy Maurer July 15, 2021
sad woman

​New weekly unemployment claims fell to the lowest level since March 2020 during the week ending July 10, nearing its pre-pandemic level as the labor market continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. States reported that 360,000 workers filed for new unemployment benefits, a decrease of 26,000 from the previous week's revised level. First-time jobless claims have been declining since the start of the year and are well below where they were this time last year, but still above the average number of claims from before the pandemic. The total number of workers continuing to claim state unemployment benefits fell to 3.2 million, just shy of where it was in March 2020.

About 13.8 million people overall are receiving some type of unemployment aid. That includes about 10.3 million people enrolled in federal emergency programs such as 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. Both programs are slated to be eliminated by half the states by the end of July.



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