Another 884,000 Americans filed for first-time unemployment benefits on a seasonally adjusted basis last week, the Labor Department reported on Thursday. The number of claims filed was unchanged from the prior week.
That said, the headline number only counts claims for regular benefits that not everyone who lost their livelihood due to the pandemic has access to.
That's why claims for benefits under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program, that help workers like independent contractors, are so important. First-time claims under the PUA program totaled 838,916 last week, up from the prior week.
Meanwhile, 13.4 million American workers filed claims for unemployment insurance for at least two weeks in a row.