Applications for first-time weekly jobless claims totaled 709,000 last week, a decline from the previous week but a continuation of elevated levels of unemployment amid a record surge in daily coronavirus cases that could further complicate a recovery in the labor market.
While the new weekly claims total is significantly lower than the March pandemic high of 7 million, it is still far from the pre-pandemic average of 200,000 weekly claims for initial jobless benefits.
The number of workers receiving this benefit soared to a record of nearly 4 million last month.
With almost 12 million jobs yet to be recovered, the economy still faces a huge shortfall, said Elise Gould, senior economist at the Economic Policy Institute.
That means, no matter what they did, there were no jobs for 5.4 million unemployed workers."
Nick Bunker, Elise Gould, Biden, Gould, Joe Biden, Ryan Sweet
Thursday's Labor Department, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Economic, Institute