WASHINGTON (AP) – Fewer Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, lowering claims to 900,000, still a historically high level that points to further job cuts in a raging pandemic.
The government said that 5.1 million Americans are continuing to receive state jobless benefits, down from 5.2 million in the previous week, signaling that fewer people who are out of work are finding jobs.
New viral infections have begun to slow after months of relentless increases, though they remain high and are averaging about 200,000 a day. The number of deaths in the United States from the pandemic that erupted 10 months ago has surpassed 400,000.
The U.S. Department of Labor estimates 108,892 new unemployment claims were filed during the week of Jan 11 in Illinois, according to the weekly claims report released Thursday.
There were 94,944 new unemployment claims filed during the week of Jan. 4 in Illinois with 45,387 the week of Dec. 27.