Another 712,000 Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week

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That was a bit lower in the previous week, which was revised higher.

Meanwhile, 288,701 workers filed for benefits under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, which provides aid for workers like the self-employed and contractors. This number is not adjusted for seasonality.

Added together, 1 million Americans filed initial benefit claims on an unadjusted basis last week.

Continued jobless claims stood at 5.5 million.

Thursday’s report comes just days after the US Government Accountability Office said that the Labor Department hadn’t provided an accurate estimate of the number of Americans claiming benefits. States’ backlogs are overloaded with the historically high number of applications, which is contributing to this issue.

On top of that, millions of people may not be receiving the full unemployment payments they are owed, GAO said.

Economists and lawmakers have relied on jobless claims data throughout the pandemic because its weekly release schedule is the closest to real-time economic data.

This is a developing story. It will be updated

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