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Jobless Claims Down 19,000, Still 4 Times Pre-Pandemic Level

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A "Now Hiring" sign hangs on the front wall of a Harbor Freight Tools store, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020, in Manchester, N.H. The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell by 19,000 to a still-high 787,000, evidence that the job market remains under stress as a resurgent coronavirus continues to batter the economy. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

(AP) — The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell by 19,000 but remain elevated at 787,000 as a resurgent coronavirus grips the U.S. economy. While at the lowest level in four weeks, the new figures released Thursday by the Labor Department are nearly four times higher than a year ago before the coronavirus struck. Employers continue to cut jobs as rising coronavirus infections keep many people at home while state and local governments re-impose restrictions. Jobless claims were running around 225,000 a week before the pandemic struck with force last March causing weekly jobless claims to surge to a high of 6.9 million in late March as efforts to contain the virus sent the economy into a deep recession.

 

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