Jobless claims down 19,000, still 4 times pre-pandemic level

Employers continue to cut jobs as rising coronavirus infections keep many at home. Jobless claims were running around 225,000 a week before the pandemic last March; they're now at 787,000.

By

National News

December 31, 2020 - 9:20 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell by 19,000 last week to still historically high 787,000 as a resurgent coronavirus grips the U.S. economy.

While at the lowest level in four weeks, the new figures released today by the Labor Department are nearly four times higher than last year at this point before the coronavirus struck. Employers continue to cut jobs as rising coronavirus infections keep many people at home and state and local governments re-impose restrictions.

Jobless claims were running around 225,000 a week before the pandemic struck with force last March, causing weekly jobless claims to surge to a high of 6.9 million in late March as efforts to contain the virus sent the economy into a deep recession.

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