Another 870,000 Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week

America's recovery from the pandemic continues to slow. That was...

Posted: Sep 24, 2020 2:43 PM

America's recovery from the pandemic continues to slow. That was visible again in the Labor Department's weekly jobless claims report Thursday.

Another 870,000 workers filed first-time claims for unemployment benefits on a seasonally adjusted basis last week. That was up very slightly from the previous week.

Over the past weeks, initial claims have improved very little. Six months into this crisis, weekly claims are about four times higher than they were before businesses went into lockdown in March.

"The jobless claims data paint a picture of a labor market recovery that's struggling to maintain momentum," said Nancy Vanden Houten, lead US economist at Oxford Economics.

Continued jobless claims -- counting workers who have filed for benefits for at least two consecutive weeks -- stood at 12.6 million on a seasonally adjusted basis, down a bit from the prior week.

But many Americans also filed for benefits under the government's other programs, such as Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, which Congress created in the wake of the crisis to help those not eligible for regular jobless benefits including the self-employed.

Another 630,080 Americans filed for PUA benefits last week.

Adding PUA claims and unadjusted regular first-time claims together, nearly 1.5 million people applied for government benefits last week.

As of September 5, 26 million Americans received some form of benefits from the government. On the bright side, that number is down 3.7 million from late August.

But unfortunately, the complexities of joblessness during the crisis mean it's just not that simple. The number of people in the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program -- those are workers who have exhausted their state benefit programs -- has increased, for example.

It's once again hammering home that this jobless crisis isn't over even as the economy is chugging along on its long path to recovery.

Combating fraud

While so many are still struggling to make ends meet, there are new hurdles to overcome: California's unemployment agency took the unusual step of halting the acceptance of new claims for two weeks starting last week. The state is looking to address a spike in potentially fraudulent PUA claims and to reduce a backlog of unprocessed applications.

California saw a large increase in continuing pandemic claims at the end of August, and it has a backlog of nearly 600,000 Californians who applied for benefits more than three weeks ago whose claims haven't been processed yet.

The state will also implement a new identity verification process to combat fraud during the temporary halt. Its previous anti-fraud efforts led to a decline of more than 72% in PUA claims earlier this month.

Since mid-March, California's unemployment agency has processed more than 13 million claims and paid out more than $86 billion in unemployment benefits.

That number of claims California has processed over the last six months is more than triple the worst full year of the Great Recession.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 662213

Reported Deaths: 12595
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion907061645
Lake48425878
Allen35861636
Hamilton32099397
St. Joseph29996512
Elkhart25386415
Vanderburgh21247378
Tippecanoe20024201
Johnson16349360
Porter15975270
Hendricks15825300
Clark11965181
Madison11746318
Vigo11612229
Monroe10333161
Delaware9838179
LaPorte9772196
Howard9056197
Kosciusko8562110
Bartholomew7456147
Warrick7416151
Hancock7409131
Floyd7207169
Wayne6633191
Grant6427157
Morgan6092125
Boone609088
Dubois5910111
Dearborn547467
Cass544499
Marshall5425104
Henry542393
Noble509378
Jackson464767
Shelby460690
Lawrence4184112
Gibson401281
Harrison399864
Clinton395853
Montgomery387083
DeKalb385278
Knox357485
Miami357463
Whitley349436
Huntington344476
Steuben338355
Wabash331476
Putnam330559
Ripley327161
Adams323549
Jasper316143
White297352
Jefferson294973
Daviess285396
Fayette271956
Decatur270888
Greene261280
Posey260931
Wells258275
Scott250350
Clay241444
LaGrange240870
Randolph225576
Spencer217330
Jennings215244
Washington211227
Sullivan203439
Fountain201542
Starke188151
Owen182153
Fulton178237
Jay177828
Carroll176518
Perry173235
Orange171250
Rush164822
Vermillion160542
Franklin159435
Tipton146441
Parke139316
Pike127632
Blackford120627
Pulaski106444
Newton96531
Brown95039
Benton92013
Crawford90713
Martin80114
Warren75814
Switzerland7548
Union67110
Ohio53711
Unassigned0433

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 968874

Reported Deaths: 17346
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1119871212
Cuyahoga957051750
Hamilton73287974
Montgomery47254892
Summit40184957
Butler35456473
Lucas35279767
Stark29356843
Warren22381276
Lorain21994391
Mahoning19444544
Lake18379305
Clermont18346212
Delaware16437136
Licking14967200
Fairfield14506160
Trumbull14315465
Greene13568214
Medina13370219
Clark12246336
Wood11506194
Portage11008160
Allen10768235
Richland10278206
Miami10011190
Muskingum8169131
Columbiana8120183
Pickaway8041104
Tuscarawas8029236
Marion7982137
Wayne7857219
Erie6872184
Ross6130137
Geauga6057129
Hancock5981114
Ashtabula5959147
Scioto5933104
Lawrence524974
Union512352
Darke5026124
Belmont491889
Huron4797118
Jefferson4790108
Sandusky476196
Seneca4671103
Athens463733
Washington462287
Mercer4582101
Auglaize455499
Shelby440970
Knox401686
Putnam3986101
Madison392147
Ashland379195
Fulton378664
Defiance3714102
Brown369242
Crawford357496
Logan354060
Preble352671
Clinton340064
Highland327756
Ottawa323267
Williams301878
Jackson289356
Champaign286646
Guernsey286234
Fayette268144
Perry267744
Morrow259225
Henry245765
Hardin244457
Holmes2430104
Coshocton235547
Van Wert229249
Gallia221846
Adams216032
Pike215228
Wyandot209353
Hocking194049
Carroll180828
Paulding160023
Meigs135037
Noble128742
Monroe116436
Morgan100834
Harrison100433
Vinton76715
Unassigned00
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