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Data: Department of Labor; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The number of Americans filing for jobless benefits is finally coming down in a meaningful way and dropping across the board.

By the numbers: Claims for traditional initial jobless claims last week fell by more than 156,000 to 832,000 while initial claims for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program declined to below 500,000 for the first time since April 18.

  • PUA claims had reached more than 1 million for the week ending July 4.
  • Regular initial jobless claims remained below 1 million for the second week in a row after 19 straight weeks above 1 million.

The state of play: The number of people receiving unemployment benefits overall declined in almost every program, except the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation and Short-Term Compensation programs, which both saw increases.

  • The increases suggest a growing number of individuals who are not classified as unemployed are receiving benefits.

The big picture: Overall, 3.1 million fewer people were receiving jobless benefits for the week ending July 25 than the previous week.

  • That reversed the broader trend for July when first-time traditional jobless claims fell, but the number of people receiving money from all unemployment programs rose.

Watch this space: Gus Faucher, economist at PNC Financial, said the extra $600 a week in unemployment benefits that expired at the end of July helped prop up outlays for many households. Without it, some consumers will likely cut back on their spending this month.

Of note: We use non-seasonally adjusted figures here at Axios Markets because seasonal adjustment since March is significantly distorting the data.

Go deeper

Updated Oct 16, 2020 - Health

U.S. coronavirus updates

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project; Note: Does not include probable deaths from New York City; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The U.S. surpassed 8 million coronavirus cases on Friday, per Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: Coronavirus infections jumped by almost 17% over the past week as the number of new cases across the country increased in 38 states and Washington, D.C., according to a seven-day average tracked by Axios.

Study: 8 million Americans have fallen into poverty since May

People wait in line at a food distribution site in a Brooklyn neighborhood. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Nearly 8 million Americans have slid into poverty since May, according to a Columbia University study reported by the New York Times.

Why it matters: The researchers found that the monthly poverty rate for September was higher than rates during April or May, and it also topped pre-crisis levels, "[d]ue to the expiration of the CARES Act’s stimulus checks and $600 per week supplement to unemployment benefits."

Federal court blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for health workers in 10 states

President Biden delivers remarks on the Omicron COVID-19 variant following a meeting with his COVID-19 response team. Photo: Anna Moneymaker via Getty Images

A federal court in Missouri has blocked the Biden administration from enforcing a coronavirus vaccine mandate for health care workers at federally-funded facilities in 10 states.

Why it matters: Monday's decision is the first victory for opponents of the rule, which requires health care workers to get vaccinated by Jan. 4, 2022. The case is one of four lawsuits challenging the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS) rule and argues that the mandate will exacerbate staffing shortages.