For yet another week hundreds of thousands of American workers filed for unemployment benefits.
Americans filed another 898,000 first-time jobless claims last week on a seasonally-adjusted basis, according to the Department of Labor. That's up 53,000 from the prior week.
Weekly claims have fallen a long way since peaking at 6.9 million in late March. But if the improvements have slowed to a snail's pace in recent weeks -- and went into reverse last week. That means it could take a long time to get back to the pre-pandemic level of around 200,000 claims per week.
On top of regular jobless claims, 372,891 Americans filed for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, a program designed in response to the pandemic to help those not usually eligible for unemployment benefits. That was down 91,000 claims from the prior week.
Adding those together, total first-time claims stood at about 1.3 million last week.
Continued jobless claims, which count workers who have filed for benefits for more than two weeks in a row, stood at 10 million. That's down around 1.2 million from the prior week.
That sounds like good news, but economists worry continued claims might be declining because people have maxed out their benefit allowance. States provide up to 26 weeks of aid before workers move on to other government programs, such as the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program.
This is a developing story. It will be updated