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: 727764

Reported Deaths: 13397
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion995211738
Lake53461965
Allen40457675
St. Joseph35506550
Hamilton35489408
Elkhart28433441
Tippecanoe22359218
Vanderburgh22284396
Porter18668307
Johnson17905377
Hendricks17180315
Clark12930191
Madison12592339
Vigo12431246
Monroe11858170
LaPorte11821210
Delaware10648185
Howard9865216
Kosciusko9378117
Hancock8251140
Bartholomew8052155
Warrick7771155
Floyd7649177
Grant7027174
Wayne7026199
Boone6679101
Morgan6555139
Dubois6150117
Marshall6005111
Dearborn579277
Cass5788105
Henry5688103
Noble558883
Jackson500872
Shelby490296
Lawrence4505120
Harrison434772
Gibson434692
Clinton427053
DeKalb426484
Montgomery423588
Whitley394739
Huntington389080
Steuben383857
Miami380666
Knox371890
Jasper363847
Putnam358860
Wabash353379
Adams340654
Ripley339170
Jefferson328881
White313254
Daviess295899
Wells291081
Decatur284292
Fayette279262
Greene277385
Posey271033
Scott265453
LaGrange265370
Clay259146
Washington240032
Randolph239781
Spencer232031
Jennings229549
Starke215453
Fountain212046
Sullivan211142
Owen198156
Fulton194740
Jay192530
Carroll188320
Orange182654
Perry182637
Rush172925
Vermillion168543
Franklin167735
Tipton162445
Parke145916
Blackford134632
Pike133234
Pulaski116445
Newton107234
Brown101641
Crawford99314
Benton98414
Martin88315
Warren81715
Switzerland7848
Union70810
Ohio56411
Unassigned0414

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1081518

Reported Deaths: 19428
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1256551400
Cuyahoga1117782115
Hamilton798901205
Montgomery513291014
Summit47080945
Lucas42049788
Butler38301584
Stark32242906
Lorain24958481
Warren24262298
Mahoning21511588
Lake20618369
Clermont19747238
Delaware18503133
Licking16410212
Fairfield16160199
Trumbull16019468
Medina15247264
Greene15043244
Clark13970299
Wood13065189
Portage12825203
Allen11626232
Richland11323199
Miami10661217
Muskingum8799133
Wayne8784211
Columbiana8766229
Pickaway8551121
Marion8514135
Tuscarawas8470244
Erie7871154
Hancock6906127
Ross6842155
Ashtabula6792170
Geauga6677148
Scioto6405101
Belmont5873167
Union570348
Lawrence5546102
Jefferson5521151
Huron5427119
Darke5347123
Sandusky5337120
Seneca5275121
Athens518858
Washington5153109
Auglaize489584
Mercer480385
Shelby468893
Knox4483110
Madison435561
Putnam4278100
Fulton421669
Ashland421489
Defiance419297
Crawford3970107
Brown393857
Logan381576
Preble379398
Clinton371263
Ottawa366679
Highland354662
Williams338575
Champaign331458
Guernsey315653
Jackson312151
Perry294850
Morrow284639
Fayette281550
Hardin270664
Henry268466
Coshocton264557
Holmes2593101
Van Wert243363
Adams237752
Pike237534
Gallia235349
Wyandot230855
Hocking215262
Carroll191247
Paulding172540
Meigs144740
Noble133337
Monroe132042
Morgan108323
Harrison107637
Vinton82815
Unassigned02
Fort Wayne
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Angola
Partly Cloudy
48° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 43°
Huntington
Partly Cloudy
49° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 45°
Decatur
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49° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 44°
Van Wert
Partly Cloudy
48° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 44°
A cold start Saturday with widespread frost expected. We'll see plenty of sunshine for most of the day. Then, clouds build in during the late afternoon and evening.
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