837,000 Americans apply for jobless aid for the first time

837,000 Americans apply for jobless aid for the first time


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837,000 Americans applied for jobless aid for the first time last week

Initial jobless applications dipped last week but stayed elevated, signaling that the job market remains weak nearly seven months after the coronavirus hit the U.S.

About 837,000 Americans applied for state unemployment benefits in the week ending September 26, the Labor Department said Thursday. Adjusted for seasonal variation, that represents a drop of 36,000 from the previous week.

Another 650,000 people applied for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, a federal program for the self-employed and gig workers.

The large number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits each week reflects an economy that has recovered only about half of the 22 million jobs that have been lost during the pandemic. Many employers, especially small retailers, hotels, restaurants, airlines and entertainment venues, are still struggling. And millions of Americans are facing unemployment with diminished government aid since the expiration of a $600-a-week federal benefit this summer.

This is a developing story. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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