New Unemployment Claims Tick Up, Remain High

Roy Maurer By Roy Maurer September 24, 2020
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​States reported that 870,000 U.S. workers filed for new unemployment benefits during the week ending Sept. 19. The total number of workers continuing to claim unemployment benefits held at 12.6 million last week after peaking at nearly 25 million in early May. Another 11.5 million people continue to claim unemployment under the newly created Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program providing jobless benefits to workers previously not eligible for unemployment, although experts are now skeptical of that figure. New applications for unemployment benefits are well above the pre-pandemic levels of about 200,000 claims per week.

The Department of Labor's monthly employment report released earlier this month showed that U.S. employers added 1.4 million new jobs in August, and that the unemployment rate dropped to 8.4 percent. Employers have replaced about half of the jobs lost at the beginning of the pandemic but the pace of hiring has slowed and more layoffs are forecast.


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