Roughly 840,000 more American workers sought unemployment benefits for the first time last week on a seasonal adjusted basis, the U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday.

The figure is down from 849,000 the previous week, but doesn’t include the most recent data from California, which stopped processing new claims for a second consecutive week so it could work on a backlog of cases and implement fraud prevention technology, CNN reported.

The Thursday report included an estimate based on the state’s previous claims.

Continued claims — people who have filed for benefits for at least two weeks straight — are at 11 million, down almost one million, CNN reported.

The Labor Department report comes amid faltering negotiations for another round of coronavirus aid. President Trump halted the negotiations between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin earlier this week, but said Thursday that the talks were back on.

As of Thursday, the U.S. had approximately 7.6 million coronavirus cases and 212,000 related deaths — both tops globally — according to a Johns Hopkins University tracker.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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