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Coronavirus: California unemployment claims jump, ending weeks of improvement

Unemployment claims in California jumped by the largest amount in more than a month, ending four consecutive weeks of decreases, a grim reminder of the ongoing economic fallout from the coronavirus, officials reported Thursday.

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The latest filings also produced a grim new figure: During the period of coronavirus-linked shutdowns, nearly 8 million California workers have filed first-time unemployment claims.

California workers filed 209,500 initial claims for unemployment benefits during the week that ended on Aug. 22, a sharp increase from the 190,400 workers who filed first-time claims during the week ending on Aug. 15, according to the U.S. Labor Department.

The increase of 19,100 in unemployment claims was the largest one-week increase since the week that ended on July 11, when jobless claims rose by 20,100 in a single week, this news organization’s database of California unemployment claims during 2020 shows.

Since government-imposed business shutdowns to combat the coronavirus began in mid-March, 7.9 million California workers have filed first-time claims for unemployment benefits, the government figures show.

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