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Another 787,000 Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week

The jobs recovery has run out of steam as the pandemic continues to spread across the country and world. Last week, another 787,000 Americans filed for unemp...

Posted: Jan 7, 2021 12:13 PM

The jobs recovery has run out of steam as the pandemic continues to spread across the country and world. Last week, another 787,000 Americans filed for unemployment benefits, adjusted for seasonal changes, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

It was a slight decrease in claims from the prior week and marginally fewer than economists had expected. But that might be more noise than reality.

"Claims can be volatile around the holidays, so it may be a few weeks before the pattern becomes clear," said Gus Faucher, chief economist at PNC.

Here's what we do know: America's jobs crisis isn't over.

Last week's initial claims were still nearly four times as higher as in the same period a year ago.

On top of regular first-time claims, 161,460 workers filed for benefits under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, without seasonal adjustments. The program is designed to help those who aren't eligible for regular state aid, such as the self-employed. It was a sharp decline from the prior week as various states, including Florida, didn't report any PUA claims. This could mean a higher reported number or revision in next week's report.

The PUA program was introduced under last spring's CARES Act and was slated to expire at the end of 2020. The new stimulus bill that was signed into law last week extends the program by 11 weeks.

While workers can file claims and will receive payments under the extension, there may be a delay in receiving the benefits as it typically takes states a few weeks to reprogram their computers. But some states are moving quickly.

Adding up the different kinds of first-time claims, 1.1 million Americans filed for jobless benefits without seasonal adjustments.

Meanwhile, 5.1 million filed for continued benefits, claiming assistance for their second week or more, in the week ending December 26, a slight decrease from the week before.

In total, 19.2 million people received some form of government benefits in the week ending December 19.

"While prospects for the economy later in 2021 are upbeat, the economy and labor market will have to navigate some difficult terrain between now and then, and we expect claims to remain elevated," said Nancy Vanden Houten, Lead US Economist at Oxford Economics.

Friday's jobs report is expected to show the first uptick in the unemployment rate since April. Economists polled by Refinitiv predict that while 71,000 new jobs were added in December, the jobless rate rose to 6.8%.

--Tami Luhby contributed to this story.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 657037

Reported Deaths: 12450
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion901321624
Lake48105871
Allen35552632
Hamilton31839393
St. Joseph29538510
Elkhart25261412
Vanderburgh21115377
Tippecanoe19765197
Johnson16242352
Porter15838267
Hendricks15723296
Clark11843179
Madison11672314
Vigo11503228
Monroe10248158
Delaware9788178
LaPorte9720194
Howard9017194
Kosciusko8514107
Bartholomew7373147
Warrick7369146
Hancock7362128
Floyd7139164
Wayne6586188
Grant6395157
Morgan6040124
Boone603388
Dubois5868111
Dearborn540266
Henry539492
Marshall5390104
Cass537199
Noble506775
Jackson462063
Shelby458490
Lawrence4154111
Gibson399681
Harrison395160
Clinton392353
DeKalb382078
Montgomery381583
Knox354484
Miami354063
Whitley346235
Huntington338176
Steuben335955
Wabash328775
Putnam325959
Ripley325161
Adams320249
Jasper312943
White295351
Jefferson292770
Daviess284296
Fayette270255
Decatur269388
Greene259978
Posey259731
Wells255374
Scott248446
LaGrange240170
Clay238944
Randolph225076
Spencer215830
Jennings213544
Washington207727
Sullivan202038
Fountain200341
Starke185950
Owen181652
Jay177328
Fulton176437
Carroll175618
Perry172435
Orange170450
Rush163922
Franklin158335
Vermillion158040
Tipton145441
Parke137915
Pike127232
Blackford120027
Pulaski105643
Newton96431
Brown94639
Benton91113
Crawford90113
Martin80114
Switzerland7507
Warren74612
Union66810
Ohio52711
Unassigned0425

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 958153

Reported Deaths: 16968
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1109381191
Cuyahoga944201702
Hamilton72486944
Montgomery46927869
Summit39637941
Butler35004461
Lucas34724755
Stark29011826
Warren22137269
Lorain21738385
Mahoning19251533
Lake18178300
Clermont18172206
Delaware16261128
Licking14820194
Fairfield14378157
Trumbull14136454
Greene13470209
Medina13188218
Clark12121332
Wood11384193
Portage10829152
Allen10710231
Richland10165198
Miami9937179
Columbiana8049179
Muskingum8036123
Tuscarawas7974233
Pickaway795898
Marion7936134
Wayne7791216
Erie6783181
Ross6065135
Geauga5978129
Hancock5941110
Scioto5867105
Ashtabula5811140
Lawrence519073
Union505052
Darke5006122
Belmont484787
Sandusky472393
Jefferson4709107
Huron4701116
Seneca4620103
Athens456231
Mercer4559101
Auglaize453896
Washington451286
Shelby438867
Knox397884
Putnam3964101
Madison388747
Ashland374594
Fulton374364
Defiance3670101
Brown366742
Crawford354296
Preble350570
Logan349757
Clinton336162
Highland323652
Ottawa318467
Williams299578
Jackson287056
Guernsey283234
Champaign282545
Fayette265642
Perry265239
Morrow256624
Henry242665
Hardin241856
Holmes2416104
Coshocton230246
Van Wert227749
Gallia219446
Adams213732
Pike212025
Wyandot207652
Hocking192148
Carroll178828
Paulding158423
Meigs133536
Noble127842
Monroe114936
Harrison99132
Morgan98834
Vinton76215
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Partly Cloudy
42° wxIcon
Hi: 48° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 34°
Angola
Partly Cloudy
41° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 32°
Huntington
Partly Cloudy
44° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 37°
Fort Wayne
Clear
42° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 34°
Lima
Partly Cloudy
47° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 40°
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