Another 787,000 Americans filed first-time claims for jobless benefits after Christmas, the Labor Department reported.
It marked a decrease from the prior week and was slightly better than economists had predicted. Even so, claims were still 3.5 times higher than the same period last year.
Overall, unemployment claims remain well above historic norms, signaling ongoing pain in the US job market during the coronavirus pandemic.
In addition to regular jobless claims, some 308,000 workers filed for aid under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, which provides benefits to people who aren’t eligible for regular state aid, such as the self-employed and gig workers.
Together, 1.1 million Americans filed initial claims for unemployment benefits, not adjusted for seasonal swings.
Indeed Hiring Lab said, “While the decline in total initial claims is movement in the right direction, they have not fallen below one million since this crisis began.”