Another 712,000 Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week

In total, 20.2 million Americans received benefits under the various government programs in that week. That's down about 350,000 from the prior week.

Posted: Dec 3, 2020 3:05 PM
Updated: Dec 3, 2020 6:04 PM


Another 712,000 Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the Labor Department, as the job market recovery continues to slow.

That was a bit lower in the previous week, which was revised higher.

Meanwhile, 288,701 workers filed for benefits under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, which provides aid for workers like the self-employed and contractors. This number is not adjusted for seasonality.

Added together, 1 million Americans filed initial benefit claims on an unadjusted basis last week. Although that's a new low for combined first-time claims since the crisis started, the number is still higher than the peak of weekly jobless claims during the Great Recession, when they peaked at 665,000.

Continued jobless claims stood at 5.5 million, down from 6.1 million in the week before.

Meanwhile, the number of people who have exhausted their state benefits and receive aid from alternative programs, like the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, has risen once again, climbing by some 60,000 to 4.6 million in the week ended November 14.

In total, 20.2 million Americans received benefits under the various government programs in that week. That's down about 350,000 from the prior week.

Thursday's report comes just days after the US Government Accountability Office said that the Labor Department hadn't provided an accurate estimate of the number of Americans claiming benefits. States' backlogs are overloaded with the historically high number of applications, which is contributing to this issue.

On top of that, millions of people may not be receiving the full unemployment payments they are owed, GAO said.

Economists and lawmakers have relied on jobless claims data throughout the pandemic because its weekly release schedule is the closest to real-time economic data.

In spite of the rampant joblessness, the benefit programs created by the CARES Act in the spring are due to expire at the end of the year unless Congress acts.

"Restoring Pandemic Unemployment Compensation is particularly critical given the shocking findings in a GAO report this week that found rampant underpayment of PUA, relegating millions of federal benefits recipients to below the poverty line," said Andrew Stettner, senior fellow at The Century Foundation.

Unemployed benefit recipients received an additional $600 per week on top of other benefits until the end of July through the PUC program.

It's a big week for employment data, with the government's jobs report due on Friday morning. Economists expect 469,000 jobs were added to the US economy in November, nudging the unemployment down to 6.8%. But some experts worry that the report, which is based on a survey conducted mid-month, won't show the full effect of the resurgence in Covid-19 infections across the country.

"With the pandemic raging, further closures of service sector businesses may bring new rounds of layoffs through the winter," Stettner said.

America recorded its deadliest day of the pandemic on Wednesday with more than 2,800 people dying from the virus.

Various states have reimposed lockdown measures to curb infections, which is in turn expected to weigh on economic and employment data.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 735999

Reported Deaths: 13486
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1007151752
Lake54249977
Allen40946680
St. Joseph36335553
Hamilton35829408
Elkhart28844443
Tippecanoe22475219
Vanderburgh22367397
Porter18946311
Johnson18067381
Hendricks17317315
Clark13036192
Madison12762339
Vigo12501249
LaPorte12086215
Monroe11957172
Delaware10755187
Howard10001218
Kosciusko9466117
Hancock8373142
Bartholomew8098156
Warrick7799155
Floyd7690178
Grant7098174
Wayne7072199
Boone6745101
Morgan6611140
Dubois6166117
Marshall6111112
Cass5876105
Dearborn583178
Henry5785105
Noble565984
Jackson503773
Shelby494396
Lawrence4602120
Gibson437192
Harrison436672
DeKalb430585
Clinton428453
Montgomery425889
Whitley398739
Huntington394480
Steuben391057
Miami383968
Knox372890
Jasper372649
Putnam363760
Wabash355380
Adams342755
Ripley340770
Jefferson331881
White317754
Daviess298399
Wells292081
Decatur285992
Fayette282162
Greene280585
Posey272034
LaGrange268970
Scott267554
Clay261347
Washington242132
Randolph242081
Spencer232931
Jennings230949
Starke219354
Fountain213946
Sullivan212242
Owen203356
Jay197830
Fulton196040
Carroll190420
Orange184754
Perry184637
Rush174025
Vermillion170044
Franklin168535
Tipton163445
Parke146716
Pike135634
Blackford135132
Pulaski117445
Newton108934
Brown102641
Crawford101415
Benton99014
Martin89515
Warren82615
Switzerland7948
Union71410
Ohio57111
Unassigned0417

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1091623

Reported Deaths: 19528
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1268061406
Cuyahoga1132982134
Hamilton804211211
Montgomery518231015
Summit47606955
Lucas42618792
Butler38548585
Stark32661909
Lorain25199486
Warren24390300
Mahoning21795588
Lake20846371
Clermont19880240
Delaware18608133
Licking16488212
Fairfield16327200
Trumbull16196468
Medina15379266
Greene15143244
Clark14096299
Wood13168189
Portage12966206
Allen11740232
Richland11433199
Miami10713220
Wayne8923214
Columbiana8881229
Muskingum8831133
Pickaway8596121
Marion8561136
Tuscarawas8509245
Erie7958155
Hancock6944128
Ashtabula6904172
Ross6876156
Geauga6741148
Scioto6444102
Belmont5978168
Union575448
Lawrence5590102
Jefferson5583151
Huron5462120
Sandusky5380122
Darke5374126
Seneca5311122
Washington5228109
Athens520858
Auglaize494986
Mercer481585
Shelby470293
Knox4513110
Madison439363
Putnam4301101
Ashland426590
Fulton426469
Defiance424697
Crawford3993107
Brown397557
Logan383276
Preble381398
Clinton374163
Ottawa369081
Highland356862
Williams343475
Champaign335358
Guernsey317653
Jackson314152
Perry295950
Morrow287239
Fayette283550
Hardin271964
Henry270366
Coshocton266157
Holmes2625101
Van Wert244263
Adams240053
Pike238634
Gallia236749
Wyandot232155
Hocking216462
Carroll192448
Paulding174340
Meigs145540
Noble134137
Monroe132542
Harrison109637
Morgan108823
Vinton84915
Unassigned02
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