The latest figures released by the Labor Department Thursday show that the number of people filing for jobless benefits dropped by 36,000 from the previous week.
In its reporting of data on the economy’s health, the federal agency noted that California has paused its processing of initial unemployment claims for two weeks. The state is trying to reduce backlogs and pursue suspected fraud. It’ll likely result in significant week-to-week swings in reported claims in California and for the country, the agency said.
Millions of Americans are facing unemployment with vastly diminished aid since the expiration of a $600-a-week federal benefit this summer.
American Airlines and United Airlines both announced thousands of furloughs Wednesday after lawmakers and the White House failed to reach an agreement on a new coronavirus relief package that includes more federal aid for airlines. American reported that the airline would begin furloughing 19,000 workers on Thursday, while United started putting more than 13,000 on unpaid leave.
Meanwhile, retailers, restaurants, hotels and entertainment venues are still trying to stay afloat. Many U.S. restaurants are facing the new challenge of chilly weather amid a reliance on outdoor dining this fall.