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Another 793,000 Americans filed for initial unemployment benefits last week

America's unemployment crisis shows no signs of letting up. Another 793,000 American workers filed for first-time unemployment benefits last week on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the Department of Labor.

Posted: Feb 11, 2021 9:12 AM
Updated: Feb 11, 2021 12:24 PM

America's unemployment crisis shows no signs of letting up.

Another 793,000 American workers filed for first-time unemployment benefits last week on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the Department of Labor.

Jobless claims continue to be stubbornly high: It was a small decrease from the previous week's claims, which were revised higher. But it was also more than economists had expected and nearly four times as many claims as during the same period last year, just before the pandemic hit.

'The overall picture is of a labor market recovery that is struggling to regain traction, wrote Wells Fargo senior economist Sarah House, in a note to clients.

On top of regular state claims, 334,524 workers filed for benefits under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, which provides aid for gig workers and the self-employed. This number is not seasonally adjusted. It was also a slight decrease from the prior week.

Added together, 1.1 million workers filed for first-time claims last week, without seasonal adjustments.

Continued claims, which counts workers who filed for at least two weeks of benefits in a row, stood at 4.5 million.

In the week ended January 23, the number of Americans receiving some form of government benefits rose by some 2.6 million to 20.4 million. Claimants increased for the PUA program, as well as the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, which provides benefits for those who have exhausted their state aid.

It's a sobering number as the nation inches closer to the one-year anniversary of the start of the pandemic.

'We suspect the increase not only reflects the soft patch the jobs market hit around the holidays as Covid cases spiked and restrictions were increased, but also eligibility extensions under these programs per the December fiscal relief package,' said House.

In short, America's jobs crisis is far from over.

Long-term unemployment is still a problem in this crisis, and it will continue to be even after many jobless workers are able to return to their previous jobs. Many newly unemployed workers in September and October experienced joblessness for the second time during the pandemic, according to a report from the JPMorgan Chase Institute published Thursday. The report also found that as of October, nearly half of unemployed workers had already been jobless for six months.

As the nation awaits enough vaccinations to be administered to achieve herd immunity, new coronavirus variants are casting a shadow over hopes for a full economic reopening. For the hardest-hit industries, such as hospitality and travel, the emergence of these variants could halt reopening plans in their tracks.

'While the progress of vaccination efforts has stymied an increase in new layoffs in December, the rate at which unemployed workers are finding new jobs and exiting the jobless rolls has yet to keep pace,' wrote Andrew Stettner, senior fellow at The Century Foundation, in emailed comments.

In January, the US economy added a modest 49,000 jobs, reversing some of the losses registered in December. The nation remains down some 10 million jobs since last February. For the unemployed, things aren't getting better fast enough. In Washington, this means more work needs to be done before the programs supporting the unemployed expire again in March.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly characterized the change in jobless claims relative to the prior week. They decreased last week.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 767409

Reported Deaths: 13980
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1054251805
Lake569191030
Allen42938698
St. Joseph37313568
Hamilton37298426
Elkhart29749470
Tippecanoe23479230
Vanderburgh23201405
Porter19573327
Johnson18822392
Hendricks18072321
Madison13548346
Clark13533198
Vigo12834256
LaPorte12566225
Monroe12546178
Delaware11143198
Howard10672237
Kosciusko9777124
Hancock8740150
Bartholomew8262157
Warrick8069157
Floyd8027182
Grant7366181
Wayne7233201
Boone7184105
Morgan6910143
Marshall6332116
Dubois6274118
Cass6090111
Dearborn601278
Noble599290
Henry5947111
Jackson516377
Shelby510898
Lawrence4922127
Gibson462696
Montgomery458192
Clinton455255
DeKalb455285
Harrison453577
Whitley415745
Huntington415582
Steuben410660
Miami405573
Jasper401155
Knox388391
Putnam385062
Wabash369083
Adams352956
Ripley351271
Jefferson341886
White339654
Daviess3090100
Wells303581
Greene293485
Decatur292593
Fayette286364
Posey281735
Scott280058
LaGrange277572
Clay273348
Washington254037
Randolph247783
Jennings239449
Spencer238731
Fountain235250
Starke229859
Owen222659
Sullivan221343
Fulton208345
Jay202932
Carroll197322
Orange191156
Perry189739
Vermillion180844
Rush177527
Tipton172747
Franklin171935
Parke155216
Pike141734
Blackford138032
Pulaski123648
Newton123036
Benton109715
Brown106043
Crawford105616
Martin92515
Warren87715
Switzerland8348
Union73610
Ohio58111
Unassigned0428

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1123964

Reported Deaths: 20490
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1304331493
Cuyahoga1172542263
Hamilton824421261
Montgomery535421062
Summit489021014
Lucas43747834
Butler40000614
Stark33837939
Lorain26029510
Warren24919312
Mahoning22710613
Lake21472396
Clermont20391261
Delaware19143138
Licking16863227
Trumbull16801492
Fairfield16793207
Medina15861276
Greene15528254
Clark14352308
Portage13432218
Wood13343201
Allen12049245
Richland11740213
Miami11019228
Wayne9258228
Columbiana9204236
Muskingum9133137
Pickaway8750123
Tuscarawas8718255
Marion8710140
Erie8135166
Ashtabula7281179
Hancock7048135
Ross7024165
Geauga6962153
Scioto6701108
Belmont6222179
Lawrence5947104
Union590949
Jefferson5725162
Huron5638122
Sandusky5488130
Darke5444131
Seneca5377128
Washington5371111
Athens526960
Auglaize507487
Mercer491185
Shelby482797
Knox4614113
Madison447566
Ashland444898
Defiance438799
Fulton436375
Putnam4354104
Crawford4114111
Brown409662
Preble3949107
Logan392179
Clinton390766
Ottawa375881
Highland366068
Williams356678
Champaign349660
Guernsey330554
Jackson321354
Perry298850
Morrow294743
Fayette289150
Hardin279365
Henry277167
Coshocton272961
Holmes2725102
Van Wert252265
Adams249858
Gallia249850
Pike244737
Wyandot235257
Hocking222963
Carroll201249
Paulding179942
Meigs151240
Monroe137945
Noble137739
Harrison115238
Morgan111624
Vinton87317
Unassigned04
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