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

Coronavirus cases increase in 17 states

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Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Sara Wise/Axios

Coronavirus infections ticked up slightly over the past week, thanks to scattered outbreaks in every region of the country.

Where it stands: The U.S. has been making halting, uneven progress against the virus since August. Overall, we're moving in the right direction, but we're often taking two steps forward and one step back.

Biden: The next president should decide on Ginsburg’s replacement

Joe Biden. Photo: Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Joe Biden is calling for the winner of November's presidential election to select Ruth Bader Ginsburg's replacement on the Supreme Court.

What he's saying: "[L]et me be clear: The voters should pick the president and the president should pick the justice for the Senate to consider," Biden said. "This was the position the Republican Senate took in 2016 when there were almost 10 months to go before the election. That's the position the United States Senate must take today, and the election's only 46 days off.

Trump, McConnell to move fast to replace Ginsburg

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump will move within days to nominate his third Supreme Court justice in just three-plus short years — and shape the court for literally decades to come, top Republican sources tell Axios.

Driving the news: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans are ready to move to confirm Trump's nominee before Election Day, just 46 days away, setting up one of the most consequential periods of our lifetimes, the sources say.