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About 840,000 U.S. workers file new claims for unemployment benefits

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Dan McCaleb | The Center Square

(The Center Square) – An additional 840,000 American workers filed initial unemployment claims in the week ending Oct. 3, down about 9,000 from the previous week's revised number but still well above pre-pandemic levels.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the advance seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 7.5 percent for the week ending Sept. 26, a decrease of 0.7 percentage points from the prior week. Unemployment rate data lags the new initial claims report by a week.

For the second week in a row, new claims from California were estimated by the department. California paused its reporting for two weeks as it works on a backlog of benefits and institutes new fraud prevention measures

Continued claims, which count those who have filed for benefits at least two weeks in a row, fell by about a million to 11 million. Part of that drop in continuing claims is a result of workers losing eligibility after 26 weeks of receiving benefits.

After calling off stimulus negotiations with Congressional Democrats earlier this week, President Donald Trump said he would like to see standalone bills to provide another direct payment to Americans and to renew the Paycheck Protection Program to support small businesses.

In late March, when government restrictions shutting down businesses deemed nonessential to help slow the spread of COVD-19 were first put into place, new weekly unemployment claims peaked at more than 6 million.