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WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell slightly last week to a still-high 840,000, evidence that job cuts remain elevated seven months into the pandemic recession.
The latest sign of a flagging recovery comes two days after President Donald Trump cut off talks over a new rescue aid package that economists say is urgently needed for millions of unemployed Americans and struggling businesses. A failure to enact another round of government aid would crimp household income and spending, and some economists say it would raise the risk of a double-dip recession.
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 decline suggests that many of the unemployed are being recalled to their old jobs. But it also reflects the fact that some have used up the 26 weeks of their
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The number of people who filed for first-time unemployment benefits reached 840,000 last week, according to data released Thursday by the Department of Labor. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had forecast claims would fall to 825,000.
While initial claims have held steady for the past six weeks, they remain at historically elevated levels.
“New claims appear to have settled into a still historically high pattern, numbering in the 800,000 range since late August,” said Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst at Bankrate. “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.”
Women and minorities, two groups that are over-represented in the service industries, remain the most heavily affected by the country’s sweeping layoffs.
Mothers of young children are shouldering more of the responsibility of online schooling,
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* Futures up: Dow 0.53%, S&P 0.50%, Nasdaq 0.62%
By Sagarika Jaisinghani
Oct 8 (Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures rose for a second straight day on Thursday as bets of a piecemeal fiscal stimulus deal lifted sentiment ahead of data on weekly jobless claims that is likely to show a labor market recovery continuing to sputter.
The Labor Department’s report is expected to show 820,000 Americans filed for unemployment benefits in the week ended Oct. 3, slightly down from 837,000 in the previous week, but still hovering at recession levels.
Signs of a slowing domestic economic rebound and political uncertainty in the run up to the Nov. 3 U.S. presidential election halted a five-month gaining streak for Wall Street’s main indexes in September.
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell has since