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U.S. Economic Hole Remains Deep Despite Jobless-Claims Milestone

Aug. 13, 2020, 4:17 PM

The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell below 1 million for the first time since the pandemic began in March, a milestone that underscores both the depth of economic damage and long road to recovery from the sharpest downturn since the Great Depression.

The latest figure of 963,000 on Thursday capped a steep two-week decline and is a fraction of the nearly 7 million filings at one point in March. Still, there are more Americans seeking benefits each week than at the highest point following the 2008 financial crisis.

Other high-frequency indicators, such as credit-card spending and ...