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Unemployment insurance: nearly 900,000 requests for help weekly, worst in 2 months

Washington DC- The Labor Department reported that there were 898,000 weekly jobless claims, a far cry from what economists expected (830,000). The worst-than-projected figure comes after claims totaled 840,000 the previous week. We at bring you the best of news stories in the US.

Initial claims have been historically off-the-chart levels above 800,000 each week since mid-March. But that's below the coronavirus-driven weekly peak of 6.6 million at the end of March.

The total for the week ending October 10 was the highest number since August 22 and another sign that the labor market is still struggling to recover.

The economy is still at about 10.7 million jobs to regain the 22 million jobs that were lost when the pandemic struck in early spring.

The report indicates that as of October 3, there were 10 million Americans receiving the benefit for more than a week, a decrease of 1.1 million from the previous week. The decline indicates that many of the unemployed are being called back to their old jobs.

Job search website Indeed said its job postings were unchanged last week, remaining roughly 17% below last year's levels. Many employers still don't trust their business or economy enough to increase hiring. Job openings had rebounded steadily over the summer, but earnings have slowed in the past two months.

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits dropped slightly last week to 840,000, showing that job cuts remain high seven months after the pandemic recession. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had expected 825,000 new claims, yet the reported figure was the lowest level of claims since the virus-induced shutdown in mid-March.

The latest sign of a weakened recovery comes two days after President Donald Trump cut off talks about a new rescue aid package that economists say is urgently needed for millions of unemployed Americans and struggling businesses. If another round of government aid is not enacted, it would reduce household income and spending, and some economists say the risk of a double-dip recession would increase.

Thursday's report from the Labor Department said the number of people continuing to receive unemployment benefits fell from 1 million to 11 million. The decline suggests that many of the unemployed are being called back to their old jobs. But it also reflects the fact that some have used up 26 weeks of their regular state benefits and transitioned to extended benefit programs that last an additional three months.

The weekly count of Americans filing for unemployment benefits has become less reliable as some states have increased their efforts to root out fraudulent claims and process past claims that have piled up.

California, for example, which accounts for more than a quarter of the nation's jobless claims, last week simply provided the same number it had provided two weeks ago. That was because the state stopped accepting jobless claims online for two weeks in order to implement anti-fraud technology and catch up with a backlog of 600,000 claims.

Across the country, hiring has slowed just as federal rescue aid ran out, hampering an economy that is still emerging from the deep hole created by the pandemic. Employers added just 661,000 jobs in September, less than half of August's gain and the third consecutive monthly decline.

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