Jobless claims dropped to 709,000 last week as labor market heals slowly
by Jay Heflin, Business Editor |
| November 12, 2020 08:31 AM
The number of new applications for unemployment benefits last week decreased to 709,000, the Labor Department reported Thursday, suggesting the labor market is slowly healing despite rising COVID-19 cases.
Economists had projected 734,000 new claims.
Initial jobless claims have been below a million for eleven straight weeks but have never dropped below 700,000 since the pandemic hit the nation last spring. This rate of initial unemployment claims is historically high as they were roughly 200,000 before the virus infected the nation.
Additionally, states reported nearly 300,000 initial claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, a new category of eligibility created by the March CARES Act that provides benefits for workers sidelined by the pandemic, such as gig workers whose work dried up. Altogether, then, roughly 1 million workers filed for benefits last week.