More than 5,000 Oklahomans filed their first unemployment claim

Yolanda Curtis
August 7, 2020

For the first time in three weeks there was a drop in new unemployment claims, but the number of Americans lining up for first-time jobless benefits still remains painfully high.

Information released Thursday by the U.S. Labor Department showed initial claims for state unemployment benefits totaled a seasonally adjusted 1.186 million for the week ended August 1, compared to 1.435 million in the prior week.

The week of July 25 was the last that the additional $600 pandemic unemployment compensation was paid out to New Jerseyans, under the landmark $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.

The state's total for all ongoing claims, including state and federal benefits, fell 3.1%, to 656,556.

However, the four-week average for initial unemployment claims was barely changed at 1.33 million in the week ended Aug 1, the report said.

The total number of Americans receiving some type of jobless benefit in the month of July rose above 32 million. "This marks the 20th consecutive week of elevated new jobless claims of one million or more, in some cases substantially more, going back to March and continuing through June".

New Jersey Commissioner for the Department of Labor and Workforce Development Robert Asaro-Angelo at Gov. Phil Murphy's daily COVID-19 press briefing at the War Memorial in Trenton on May 21, 2020. "Certainly employment continues to be impacted for many, but this improvement is critical as the $600 federal stimulus has expired for all claimants".

The department said there are 16.1 million continuing claims, which lag initial claims by a week.

The federal program for self-employed workers, independent contractors and gig workers has paid $8.7 million in South Dakota and the program that extends unemployment payments for those who have reached the limit, has paid $925,000.

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