Thursday’s report from the Labor Department showed that jobless claims rose by 9,000 from the previous week. Though the pace of layoffs has eased since the year began, they remain high by historical standards. Before the virus flattened the U.S. economy a year ago, applications for unemployment aid had never topped 700,000 in any week, even during the Great Recession.
All told, 4.3 million Americans are receiving traditional state unemployment benefits. Counting supplemental federal unemployment programs that were established to soften the economic damage from the virus, an estimated 18 million people are collecting some form of jobless aid.
In Texas, applications for benefits surged by nearly 18,000 in Texas in the aftermath of freezing weather and power outages. And jobless claims rose by more than 17,000 in Ohio, where the weekly totals have been thrown off by potentially fraudulent claims.
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