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Data: U.S. Department of Labor; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The number of Americans receiving unemployment benefits continues to fall, but data from the Labor Department showed more than 1 million people filed for first-time jobless benefits for the 33rd week in a row.

By the numbers: More than 738,000 people applied for first-time traditional unemployment benefits last week, and nearly 363,000 applied for benefits through the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program.

Why it matters: The rate of unemployment filings has been remarkably high for a remarkable amount of time.

Between the lines: The number of people receiving benefits through the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program for the long-term unemployed has risen by 14,348% since it started in April, while the PUA program is up 6,741% during that time.

  • "The small increase in PEUC relative to the decline in continuing claims for regular state UI is due in part to workers running into administrative glitches getting on to PEUC," Heidi Shierholz, a former chief economist at the Department of Labor and current director of policy at left-leaning think tank EPI, said on Twitter.

What's next: Shierholz also points out that unemployment benefits are starting to run out for more people and will expire for all of the nearly 14 million Americans on pandemic programs at the end of the year.

Go deeper

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
Nov 9, 2020 - Economy & Business

P.S. Economic polls are bad, too

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

This week America witnessed a forecasting failure of almost unprecedented magnitude. October's unemployment rate came in at 6.9%, after dozens of the best-paid and most experienced economic forecasters in the world had predicted the number would come in at 7.7%.

Why it matters: Those forecasters had literally millions of data points of information to go on, and have had ample experience with unemployment releases, which come out like clockwork on the first Friday of every month. But there will be no great post-mortem about why they got the number so wrong.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
29 mins ago - Health

Nursing homes are still getting pummeled by the pandemic

Data: AHCA/NCAL, The COVID Tracking Project; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

The U.S. has gotten no better at keeping the coronavirus out of nursing homes.

Why it matters: The number of nursing home cases has consistently tracked closely with the number of cases in the broader community — and that's very bad news as overall cases continue to skyrocket.

49 mins ago - Technology

Showdown looms over digital services tax

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A fight over foreign countries' efforts to tax big American tech companies' digital services is likely to come to a head in January just as Joe Biden takes office.

The big picture: Governments have failed to reach a broad multilateral agreement on how to structure such taxes. That could leave the American firms that dominate consumer digital services — including Google, Facebook and Apple — stuck with massive tax bills from different countries.