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Weekly unemployment claims fall slightly to 847,000 but remain extremely high

Unemployment
Posted at 5:49 AM, Jan 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-28 08:59:17-05

WASHINGTON — The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell to a historically high 847,000 last week, a sign that layoffs remain high as the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage.

The Labor Department said Thursday that last week’s claims were down by 67,000 from 914,000 the week before.

Before the virus hit the United States hard last March, weekly applications for jobless aid had never topped 700,000.

Overall, nearly 4.8 million Americans are continuing to receive traditional state unemployment benefits. That is down from a staggering peak of nearly 25 million in May when the virus — and lockdowns and other measures to contain it — brought economic activity to a near halt.