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: 698692

Reported Deaths: 13148
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion953091706
Lake50868931
Allen38607670
Hamilton34028404
St. Joseph33404537
Elkhart26868431
Vanderburgh21948393
Tippecanoe21483212
Johnson17346371
Porter17059297
Hendricks16638309
Clark12600190
Madison12239335
Vigo12109243
Monroe11253166
LaPorte10639204
Delaware10251183
Howard9572211
Kosciusko9009112
Hancock7866139
Bartholomew7807153
Warrick7660155
Floyd7509175
Wayne6849196
Grant6732167
Boone648199
Morgan6341137
Dubois6054117
Marshall5720108
Cass5658102
Dearborn565275
Henry5545100
Noble534983
Jackson489869
Shelby474495
Lawrence4304118
Gibson425788
Harrison425370
Montgomery414686
Clinton413953
DeKalb404183
Huntington373180
Whitley372639
Miami369965
Knox363889
Steuben359657
Putnam350760
Wabash344977
Jasper342246
Adams336852
Ripley332668
Jefferson306779
White306054
Daviess288199
Wells283680
Decatur278092
Fayette276762
Greene268785
Posey267533
Scott258753
Clay250944
LaGrange249670
Randolph233679
Washington228929
Spencer227231
Jennings224347
Fountain207245
Sullivan207241
Starke199452
Owen191056
Fulton189139
Jay184829
Carroll184520
Perry178536
Orange175852
Rush169424
Vermillion165543
Franklin164835
Tipton160743
Parke143516
Blackford132130
Pike129634
Pulaski112445
Newton102434
Brown98940
Crawford96814
Benton94913
Martin82115
Warren78715
Switzerland7688
Union69510
Ohio55411
Unassigned0405

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1039455

Reported Deaths: 18827
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1205361345
Cuyahoga1051802040
Hamilton774991164
Montgomery49566984
Summit44613904
Lucas39235757
Butler37466566
Stark31150890
Lorain23831467
Warren23725291
Mahoning20653581
Lake19760360
Clermont19325226
Delaware17811130
Licking15996205
Fairfield15520195
Trumbull15412458
Medina14693255
Greene14510233
Clark13455287
Wood12575182
Portage12183193
Allen11225229
Richland10924197
Miami10470211
Muskingum8653127
Columbiana8482225
Wayne8463209
Pickaway8394120
Tuscarawas8317239
Marion8302135
Erie7434153
Ross6650145
Hancock6608123
Geauga6462146
Ashtabula6374163
Scioto625699
Belmont5523158
Union551747
Lawrence5439102
Huron5237112
Darke5229121
Jefferson5223147
Sandusky5096118
Seneca5050118
Washington5031107
Athens494854
Auglaize470684
Mercer467984
Shelby453489
Knox4339108
Madison417957
Putnam417698
Ashland409186
Fulton402565
Defiance396396
Brown383955
Crawford3827100
Logan370076
Preble368295
Clinton357459
Ottawa352278
Highland345058
Williams318274
Champaign317355
Jackson305051
Guernsey303448
Perry286949
Fayette276348
Morrow272639
Henry261866
Hardin261163
Coshocton256057
Holmes251799
Van Wert237562
Gallia232146
Pike231031
Adams226251
Wyandot224553
Hocking207057
Carroll187846
Paulding167638
Meigs140938
Noble131837
Monroe128541
Morgan105822
Harrison104836
Vinton81013
Unassigned01
Fort Wayne
Cloudy
58° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 58°
Angola
Partly Cloudy
59° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 59°
Huntington
Cloudy
54° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 54°
Fort Wayne
Cloudy
58° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 58°
Lima
Cloudy
55° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 55°
Rain showers taper off throughout Sunday evening. Temperatures overnight will drop into the mid to low 40s. Monday, expect more clouds in the morning, with a littler clearer sky in the afternoon. Isolated rain showers possible on Monday. Highs around 60 on Monday.
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events