Another 778,000 Americans filed unemployment claims last week

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The recovery in the American job market is still painfully slow. Another 778,000 people filed for first-time unemployment benefits last week on seasonally adjusted basis.

That was more than the 735,000 initial jobless claims that economists were expecting, and it’s also higher than last week’s revised number of 748,000. It’s the second straight week that first-time claims rose.

The latest unemployment benefits figures were released by the Labor Department on Wednesday, a day earlier than usual because of the Thanksgiving holiday.

The report also showed that continued jobless claims, which include people who have applied for benefits for at least two weeks in a row, was 6.1 million on a seasonally adjusted basis. That was down from the previous week.

And 4.5 million more people had received Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits from the government as of the week of November 7. There is a two-week lag with PEUC data.

Overall, more than 20.4 million Americans were still receiving some form of unemployment benefits as of November 7.