(STAFF REPORTS/Chewelah Independent)
New jobless claims in the United States fell by 55,000 to 787,000 which is still at historical levels but shows that employment losses have eased slightly again. According to the U.S. Labor Department, the number of people receiving unemployment benefits dropped last week by 1.02 million to 8.4 million. While heading in the positive direction all these numbers since the COVID-19 pandemic began are still historic highs.
The unemployment rate for the United States still remains high – sitting at 7.9 percent – and the job recovery has slowed in numbers the past three months. Still last week numbers show that either people are getting recalled to their old jobs of they are getting new ones. It could also mean some are seeing their state unemployment aid – which typically lasts six months – get used up.
The U.S. economy is 10.7 million jobs short of its pre-pandemic level, and the federal extended benefit program saw an additional 509,000 people apply for it. The program extended state unemployment benefits for an additional 13 weeks. Another 345,000 people applied for jobless aid from a program that helps self-employed, contractors and gig workers get unemployment relief.