First-Time Jobless Claims Resume Decline

Roy Maurer By Roy Maurer July 29, 2021
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​States reported that 400,000 workers filed for new unemployment benefits during the week ending July 24, a decrease of 24,000 from the previous week's revised level. New unemployment claims fell after an unexpected rise the week before, as the labor market continues to recover from COVID-19 and its more recent Delta variant.

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, when they amounted to about 220,000 per week. The total number of workers continuing to claim state unemployment benefits rose slightly to 3.2 million, just shy of where it was in March 2020.

About 13 million people overall are receiving some type of unemployment aid, down from over 30 million a year earlier.

As the labor market continues to improve, half the states will have terminated enhanced federal unemployment benefits provided since early in the crisis by the end of this month. Federal benefits expire for the remaining states in early September.

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