New unemployment claims dipped below 1 million for the first time since March in the past week, the Labor Department reported Thursday. Still, the total of 963,000 new claims is well over the pre-pandemic record of 695,000, and shows that layoffs are still high. Unemployment claims first jumped in March, hitting a peak of nearly 7 million. They've dropped significantly since then, but recovery recently slowed as unemployment claims lingered over 1 million for weeks on end. A total of 15.5 million people are receiving unemployment benefits, well above the pre-pandemic record of 6.6 million. Unemployed Americans were receiving an extra $600/week boost to the their unemployment benefits until the federal government's coronavirus stimulus package expired at the end of July.
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