More than 5,000 Oklahomans filed their first unemployment claim

Veterans and military personnel discuss job opportunities at a military job fair in Sandy Utah

The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits topped 1 million for the twentieth straight week - bringing the total number of initial jobless claims filed during the coronavirus pandemic to more than 55 million.

Since the state first shut down due to the coronavirus outbreak, about 707,000 people have filed jobless claims and the state has distributed almost $3.7 billion in unemployment benefits, the agency said.

New unemployment claims in SC have dropped for the third week in a row, marking the lowest number of weekly claims filed since the pandemic began. As of July 25, the latest data available, over 114,000 jobless Oklahomans were still receiving benefits, down from the all-time record of 182,000 set in June.

Look for more data on the labor market when the government's comprehensive jobs report is released on Friday.

The additional $600 in weekly jobless payments from the federal government expired at the end of July, and Republicans want to slash the amount.

Some of these 1.2 million claims can likely be attributed to filing backlogs. There were 81,439 continued claims filed during that same week.

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.

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

Arguments continue in Washington over how much federal assistance should be provided.

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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