New U.S. Unemployment Claims Fall Below 1 Million for 1st Time Since March

August 13, 2020


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For the first time since the coronavirus pandemic took hold of the U.S. in March, the number of new applications for unemployment benefits has fallen below one million. New jobless claims dropped to 963,000 for the week ending August 8, well below the peak of nearly seven million in March, but still well above the pre-pandemic record of 695,000 new weekly claims. The Wall Street Journal reports that the number of people collecting unemployment benefits through regular state programs, which cover the majority of workers, also decreased at the beginning of August. That figure, at about 15.5 million, was still well above the pre-pandemic peak of 6.6 million in 2009.