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860,000 Americans filed jobless claims last week

860,000 Americans filed jobless claims last week

The latest tally is the lowest since the pandemic began.

Catherine Thorbecke

ByCatherine ThorbeckeSeptember 17, 2020, 6:04 AM• 4 min read

NOTIFIED: Sept. 17, 2020

4:14

NOTIFIED: Sept. 17, 2020

Catch up on the developing stories making headlines.Catch up on the developing stories making headlines.Chine Nouvelle/SIPA/REX via Shutterstock

Some 860,000 Americans lost their jobs and filed for unemployment insurance last week, the Labor Department said Thursday.

The latest tally shows that new jobless claims have dipped significantly since peaking at 6.9 million in the last week of March. Still, it shatters the pre-pandemic weekly record set in 1982 of 695,000.MORE: The national debt is ready to eclipse the US economy: What you need to know

This week’s figure is also the lowest since the pandemic began, yet the numbers are not directly comparable to many of the earlier weeks as the DOL announced earlier this month it was changing its methodology used to seasonally adjust the data. Seasonal adjustment is a statistical technique the Bureau of Labor Statistics employs to remove the influence of predictable seasonal patterns — such as major holidays and back-to-school schedules — on the data. The changes come as the pandemic has upended nearly all predictable seasonal patterns.

PHOTO: A woman looks at clothes at a clothing store in New York, Sept. 4, 2020.
Chine Nouvelle/SIPA/REX via ShutterstockChine Nouvelle/SIPA/REX via ShutterstockA woman looks at clothes at a clothing store in New York, Sept. 4, 2020.A woman looks at clothes at a clothing store in New York, Sept. 4, 2020.

Meanwhile, more than 29.7 million people are still claiming unemployment benefits through all programs as of the week ending Aug. 29, the DOL said Thursday. In the same week last year, there were less than 1.5 million people claiming jobless benefits through all programs.

For the week ending Aug. 29, the states with the highest insured unemployment rates were Hawaii (20.3%), California (17.3%) and Nevada (15.6%), the DOL added in its latest release.

The states that saw the largest uptick in weekly unemployment filings for the week ending Sept. 5 were California (an increase of 23,841), Texas (a rise of 8,618) and Louisiana (a spike of 8,375).

Bankrate’s senior economic analyst Mark Hamrick noted that this is only the fourth time since mid-March that the weekly claims have dipped below

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