From the New York Times:
The government reported on Thursday that nearly 1.2 million workers filed new claims for state unemployment benefits last week. It was the lowest weekly total since March, but signaled the continuing damage that the pandemic is inflicting on the labor market.
An additional 656,000 claims were filed by freelancers, part-time workers and others who do not qualify for regular state jobless aid but are eligible for benefits under a separate federal unemployment insurance program, the Labor Department announced on Thursday. Unlike the state figures, that number is not seasonally adjusted.
Although the number of new claims is down from the stratospheric levels reached in the early days of the pandemic, the million-plus tallies that have continued for 20 weeks in a row are still extraordinarily high by historical standards.
Economists estimate 30 million Americans are currently collecting unemployment benefits.