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U.S. weekly jobless claims fall below 1 million

Video Credit: Reuters - Politics
Published on August 13, 2020 - Duration: 01:25s

U.S. weekly jobless claims fall below 1 million

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits dropped below one million last week for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, likely as the expiration of a $600 weekly jobless supplement discouraged some from filing claims. This report produced by Yahaira Jacquez.

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U.S. weekly jobless claims fall below 1 million

The number of laid-off Americans seeking unemployment benefits dropped below one million last week for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.

The Labor Department on Thursday said applications fell to 963,000, a drop from 1.191 million the previous week.

While claims are down significantly from their March peak of nearly 7 million, they remain at historically high levels, piling pressure on the White House and Congress to restart deadlocked negotiations on another stimulus package.

For months, unemployed Americans had been receiving an extra $600 a week in unemployment aid but that federal lifeline has expired and lawmakers are in the midst of a ferocious debate on whether to extend it.

President Donald Trump on Saturday signed an executive order, including extending the supplement, though he reduced the weekly payout to $400.

Though, there's been some confusion over the order.

States are on the hook for one quarter - $100 - of the paymen, which some governors have indicated they can't cover as the pandemic has decimated revenue.

While the remaining $300 will be funded from a limited emergency disaster relief program, which economists estimated could be depleted as early as September.

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