nydailynews.com nydailynews.com 31 Dec, 2020 22:15 am

Jobless claims decrease, but still 4 times pre-pandemic level

Jobless claims decrease, but still 4 times pre-pandemic level
Even though claims for jobless benefits dropped last week, employment numbers continue to be slammed by the pandemic.

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits last week fell by 19,000 to 787,000, still a historically high level as a resurgent coronavirus maintains its grip on the U.The total number of people receiving traditional unemployment benefits fell by 103,000 to 5.Andrew Stettner, senior fellow at The Century Foundation and an expert on unemployment benefits, said, “With fears of a new, more contagious strain of the virus spreading, the labor market badly needs a swifter implementation of the vaccine program in order to safely re-open the economy in 2021.” In this March 13, 2020, file photo, unionized hospitality workers wait in line in a basement garage to apply for unemployment benefits at the Hospitality Training Academy in Los Angeles.

The four-week average for claims which smooths out weekly variations rose last week to 836,750, an increase of 17,750 from the previous week.Economists believe that the holidays, in addition to broad confusion over the status of a COVID-19 relief package, suppressed applications for benefits last week, so the numbers may be worse than they appear.

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