US unemployment claims dip below 1m for first time in 20 weeks

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Figures show 963,000 people filed for claims last week as pandemic’s devastating impact maintains grip on economy

The number of Americans who filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week dipped below 1 million for the first time in 20 weeks, but signs of the coronavirus pandemic’s devastating impact on the US jobs market remain.

The latest figures from the labor department showed 963,000 people filing claims after 20 weeks of claims above 1m. Claims still remain historically high. Before the pandemic, claims were averaging about 200,000 a week and the previous record for claims was 695,000, set in 1982.

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