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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Data: U.S. Employment and Training Administration via FRED; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Another 2.43 million workers filed for unemployment benefits last week, the Department of Labor said on Thursday.

Why it matters: Americans are still filing jobless claims at historically high rates as the coronavirus crisis takes a record toll on the economy.

The big picture: The pace of weekly unemployment filings has slowed from the peak, but the number of newly filed claims continues to be devastatingly high.

  • For comparison, the record number of filings before the pandemic was set in 1982, when 695,000 people filed for unemployment.
  • New York state's Labor Department told reporters on Tuesday it has paid out 4.5 years worth of unemployment benefits in just over two months.

By the numbers: Continuing claims, which show the number of Americans collecting unemployment after their initial application, jumped by 2.5 million to another record 25 million — a sign unemployment is lingering even as states reopen.

  • Of note: This figure reports with a 2-week lag.

The backdrop: The federal stimulus bill passed in late March grants an additional $600 in benefits per week to jobless Americans. These more generous benefits are set to stop at the end of July.

  • The bill also created "pandemic unemployment assistance," which extends unemployment benefits to self-employed and gig workers.
  • The main jobless claims figure doesn't count people applying for this program. A separate part of the release shows 2.2 million people across 35 states applied for this program last week.
  • It also excludes jobless Americans whose applications weren't yet processed. Florida is among the states whose unemployment systems are still seeing delays, the Wall Street Journal reported this week.

The bottom line: Economists warn job losses meant to be temporary could become permanent.

  • Businesses starting to reopen may not need the same number of workers as they did pre-pandemic — especially if they're operating at reduced capacity.
  • Plus, the coronavirus economic impact has rippled to other industries that weren't forced to close — including local newspapers and startups — as the country locked down and demand shriveled up.

Go deeper

Updated Oct 7, 2020 - Health

World coronavirus updates

Expand chart
Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand now has active no coronavirus cases in the community after the final six people linked to the Auckland cluster recovered, the country's Health Ministry confirmed in an email Wednesday.

The big picture: The country's second outbreak won't officially be declared closed until there have been "no new cases for two incubation periods," the ministry said. Auckland will join the rest of NZ in enjoying no domestic restrictions from late Wednesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, declaring that NZ had "beat the virus again."

Updated Aug 29, 2020 - Health

University of Alabama reports 1,052 COVID-19 cases since in-person classes began

Photo: Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

The University of Alabama on Friday reported an additional 485 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among students, faculty and staff since in-person classes resumed on Aug. 19, bringing the total number cases up to 1,052, according to the university's coronavirus dashboard.

Why it matters: The outbreak underscores concerns from public health experts that in-person classes could cause community spread within school populations. The total reported on Friday does not include the 381 positive tests caught when students, faculty and staff first re-entered campus.

2 TikTok stars charged for L.A. "mega-parties"

Bryce Hall and Blake Gray in Los Angeles, California. Photo: fupp/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

TikTok influencers Blake Gray and Bryce Hall face criminal charges for hosting "mega-parties" in the Hollywood Hills despite a city ban on large gatherings due to the coronavirus pandemic, authorities announced on Friday.

Why it matters: Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer described the charges as a part of a "crackdown" on house parties that pose a risk to public health.