Another 803,000 Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week

Posted December 23, 2020 8:35 a.m. EST

— Another 803,000 Americans filed for first-time unemployment benefits last week on a seasonally adjusted basis, the Labor Department said Wednesday.

That was a drop off from the week before but still a high number and yet another sign that the US job recovery has run into serious trouble.

On top of that, 397,511 workers filed for benefits under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, which provides aid to groups that aren't usually eligible for jobless benefits, such as the self-employed. That number is not adjusted for seasonal swings.

Added together, 1.3 million Americans filed initial jobless claims last week on an unadjusted basis.

Continued claims, which count workers who have applied for benefits for at least two weeks in a row, stood at 5.3 million, up from the prior week.

Congress agreed on a new round of stimulus to combat the fallout from the pandemic over the weekend. It would include an extension of the unemployment benefits that millions of Americans need to make ends meet.

However, President Donald Trump's complaints about the bill, delivered on video via Twitter on Tuesday, raised the risk of more economic turmoil, not to mention a government shutdown. Trump asked Congress to amend the bill and up the amounts paid in stimulus checks.

This is a developing story. It will be updated

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