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Unemployment climbs back toward 1 million

A restaurant in Olympia, Wash., that has opened in defiance of the state’s COVID-19 restrictions Associated Press/Photo by Ted S. Warren (file)

Unemployment climbs back toward 1 million

Weekly applications for unemployment benefits are still far lower than the 7 million submitted after nationwide shutdowns in the spring. But last week’s 965,000 is the highest since late August, and much higher than average numbers before the pandemic, when they typically numbered around 225,000 weekly.

Did something change? Thursday’s report from the Labor Department reflects that the resurgent virus has likely escalated layoffs. The United States recorded a record of more than 4,300 deaths on Tuesday. Shutdowns of restaurants, bars and other venues where people gather in California, New York and other states have likely forced up layoffs. New applications dropped over the summer but have hovered above 700,000 since September. Economists say broader economic recovery could begin in the second half of the year once coronavirus vaccines are more widely distributed.

Dig deeper: Read Collin Garbarino’s report in Muse about how the pandemic has changed the entertainment industry.

Rachel Lynn Aldrich Rachel is an assistant editor for WORLD Digital. She is a Patrick Henry College and World Journalism Institute graduate. Rachel resides with her husband in Wheaton, Ill.


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I bet a lot of people are expecting the Biden Administration to fire up the unemployment benefits gravy train again.