- New US jobless claims for the week that ended Saturday totaled 860,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. That came in slightly above the consensus economist estimate of 850,000, but marked an encouraging decline from the prior week.
- Continuing claims, the aggregate total of people receiving unemployment benefits, amounted to 12.6 million for the week that ended September 5. That was lower than economist forecasts, and also slid from the week before.
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The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits decreased last week, offering an encouraging sign for the ongoing US economic recovery.
New US weekly jobless claims totaled an unadjusted 860,000 for the week that ended Saturday, the Labor Department reported Thursday. That reading slightly exceeded the median economist estimate of 850,000 compiled by Bloomberg, although it did reflect a decline from the prior period.
Continuing claims, which represent the aggregate total of Americans receiving unemployment benefits, came in at 12.6 million for the week ended September 5. The sum is a slight decrease from the prior week’s revised number. Economists expected continuing claims to hover around 13 million.
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In just over six months, the more than 61 million unemployment claims filed during the coronavirus pandemic have far surpassed the 37 million during the 18-month Great Recession. The most recent weekly reading still surpasses the 665,000 filings made during the Great Recession’s worst week.
The pace of jobless claims’ decline has slowed in recent weeks after sharper drops in April and May. The still-elevated readings arrive as Congress continues deliberating on a second fiscal spending package.
Senate Democrats blocked Republicans’ $500 billion measure last week, arguing the proposal did too little to aid struggling Americans and businesses. The bill included a $300 per week expansion to unemployment benefits, half of the addition included in March’s CARES Act.
The White House has since expressed openness to a $1.5 trillion package, but Democrats still aim to pass a bill with at least $2.2 trillion in relief funding.
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