US weekly unemployment numbers increase to 885,000

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A Help Wanted sign is posted at a Designer Eyes store at Brickell City Centre, Friday, Nov. 6, 2020, in Miami. The number of people applying for unemployment aid jumped last week to 853,000, the most since September, evidence that some companies are cutting more jobs as new virus cases spiral higher. The Labor Department said Thursday, Dec. 10, that the number of applications increased from 716,000 the previous week. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose again last week to 885,000 as a resurgence of coronavirus cases threatens the economy’s recovery from its springtime collapse.

The latest report released by the Labor Department Thursday shows that the number of people filing for jobless benefits increased by 23,000. The previous week showed a bigger increase in the number of Americans filing for unemployment.

Before the coronavirus erupted in March, weekly jobless claims had typically numbered only about 225,000. The far-higher current pace of claims reflects an employment market under stress and diminished job security for many.

The number of people who are continuing to receive traditional unemployment benefits is now 5.5 million.

That figure is down sharply from its peak of nearly 23 million in May. It means that some jobless Americans are finding jobs and no longer receiving aid. But it also indicates that many of the unemployed have used up their state benefits, which typically expire after six months.

With layoffs still elevated and new confirmed viral cases in the United States now exceeding 200,000 a day on average, the economy’s modest recovery is increasingly in danger.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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