840,000 Americans filed for unemployment last week

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CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — About 840,000 people filed for unemployment benefits last week as the country entered the seventh month of the coronavirus pandemic.

The U.S. Labor Department released the new figures Thursday, showing a drop of roughly 9,000 filed claims from the previous week.

“New claims appear to have settled into a still historically high pattern, numbering in the 800,000 range since late August,” said Bankrate.com senior economic analyst Mark Hamrick. “The intermediate-term outlook remains quite concerning for several reasons, although we remain hopeful that the eventual availability of effective and safe vaccines will get us to a better place on a number of fronts.”

Thursday’s report from the Labor Department said the number of people who are continuing to receive unemployment benefits dropped 1 million to 11 million.

The weekly count of Americans applying for unemployment benefits has become less reliable as some states have increased their efforts to root out fraudulent claims and process earlier applications that have piled up.

The Labor Department specifically notes the impact of the state of California’s two-week pause on its processing of unemployment claims.

The federal agency said the pause “will likely result in significant week to week swings in initial claims in California and the nation.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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