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Up-down-up-down...Tenn. initial jobless claims continue to fluctuate

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Mike Osborne)  --  The number of Tennesseans filing initial claims for unemployment benefits continues to fluctuate.

Laid off and furloughed workers applying for jobless aid fell steadily between April and mid-June. However, in the months since the number of first time unemployment claims have risen one week only to fall the next.

The State Department of Labor reported Thursday that the number of initial claims rose nine percent this past week. That’s after falling 20 percent the week before.

Some 12,000 out-of-work Tennesseans applied for jobless benefits during the week ending August 29. That’s down dramatically from the peak of 116,000 weekly claims reported in early April, but still four times higher than the average number of weekly claims seen before the pandemic caused a massive surge in job losses.

On the plus side, the number of Tennesseans continuing to file jobless claims fell again last week. Well over 184,000 residents reported they remain out of work this past week. That’s down 3 percent in the past seven days and down 43 percent from the April 25 peak of 324,000 claims.

Labor officials say that this past week the state paid out well over 281,000 Unemployment Insurance claims totaling $265 million in benefits.

The Associated Press reported Thursday that, nationwide, some 880,000 Americans filed initial jobless claims, down from more than 1 million claims the week before. The U.S. government says that roughly 13 million people are continuing to receive jobless benefits, up from 1.7 million a year ago.

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