Weekly unemployment claims drop in Washington, but jobs recovery isn’t here yet

Ohio jobless claims decline latest figures show

More than 1.4M Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week

New U.S. jobless claims rose last week for the first time since March, sparking fears the economy is sputtering again as COVID-19 cases surge across the country and some reopened businesses shut down again.

The Labor Department said 16.2 million people are receiving traditional benefits - a decline of 1.1 million from the prior week, but still more than double thepre-pandemic record set in June 2009.

The spike in the fresh batch of unemployment filings comes as the extra $600 a week in unemployment insurance through the CARES Act is set to expire at the end of the month, a looming deadline that will bring new financial anxiety to the millions still out of work.

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MI also saw a dip in the number of residents claiming pandemic unemployment assistance, a program created for those not traditionally eligible for unemployment insurance, such as the self-employed or contractors.

Plus, over 15 million are receiving benefits through other unemployment programs, including PUA.

Some 1.416 million Americans filed for first-time unemployment benefits in the week ending July 18, up from 1.307 million the week before and above the 1.3 million expected.

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New weekly claims for unemployment insurance in Washington edged downward last week, but that's probably not a sign of any real recovery for the state's battered job market.

The bottom line: The expanded benefits are a big reason that incomes have been buoyed amid the worst bout of unemployment in US history - as are the one-time stimulus checks.

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