Number of Americans filing for unemployment falls below 1M for first time since pandemic started

The latest jobless claims figures from the Labor Department, which cover the week ending August 8, show that 963,000 workers sought aid last week, pushing the total number since the shutdown began to nearly 56 million.

The figure — the lowest since March 21, just as the pandemic brought the economy to a grinding halt — indicates there’s still driving power behind the job market’s recovery, despite fears that flare-up in COVID-19 cases and a fresh round of business closures would derail its early recovery.

It marks the first time in 21 weeks that jobless claims came in below 1 million; before the pandemic, the record high was 695,000, set in 1982. The last time the number was below 1 million was March 14, when just 282,000 Americans filed for aid.


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