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Jobless claims fall to 751,000 in last report before election

October 29, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

A storefront displays a closed sign as it remains shuttered due to a COVID-19 area infection rate increase, Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020, in the Far Rockaway neighborhood of the borough of Queens in New York. After shutdowns swept entire nations during the first surge of the coronavirus earlier this year, some countries and U.S. states are trying more targeted measures as cases rise again around the world. New York???s new round of shutdowns zeroes in on individual neighborhoods, closing schools and businesses in hot spots measuring just a few square miles. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Some 751,000 Americans filed first-time unemployment benefits last week, the Department of Labor said Thursday in its last report before the presidential election.

(CNN)Some 751,000 Americans filed first-time unemployment benefits last week, the Department of Labor said Thursday in its last report before the presidential election.

Just under 360,000 people filed initial claims under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, which Congress created as part of its $2 trillion coronavirus relief package to provide assistance to those not typically eligible for benefits, such as gig workers and the self-employed.

Together, initial applications for benefits stood at about 1. 1 million last week without seasonal adjustments.

Continued jobless claims -- which count people who have applied for benefits for at least two weeks in a row -- stood at 7. 8 million, down 709,000 from the prior week's revised level, on a seasonally adjusted basis.

A growing number of people have been unable to find new jobs and are exhausting the regular state benefits, which typically last 26 weeks.

They are shifting to an extended federal safety net, primarily the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, which Congress also created in March to provide the jobless with an additional 13 weeks of benefits.

And another nearly 401,000 Americans were receiving extended benefits, which provide payments for up to an additional 20 weeks depending on the state.

That extended benefits figure is down 44,200 from the prior week.

Some states have been ending their extended benefits program as their unemployment rates improve.

A total of 22. 7 million Americans were claiming unemployment benefits, as of Oct. 10.

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