© Provided by Associated PressFILE - In this Sept. 2, 2020, file photo, a help wanted sign hangs on the door of a Target store in Uniontown, Pa. Hundreds of thousands of Americans likely applied for unemployment benefits last week, a high level of job insecurity that reflects economic damage from the coronavirus outbreak. Economists expect that 850,000 people sought jobless aid, down from 884,000 the week before, according to a survey by the data firm FactSet. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)
WASHINGTON (AP) - The number of Americans who sought unemployment benefits last week likely numbered in the hundreds of thousands with COVID-19 seeding broad economic damage nine months after the first case was confirmed in the U.S.
Economists believe that around 850,000 people sought jobless aid, down from 884,000 the week before, according to a survey by the data firm FactSet.
The pandemic has delivered an unprecedented shock to the economy. Until the pandemic upended the operations of American companies, from factories to family diners, weekly jobless aid applications had never exceeded 700,000 in the U.S. © Provided by Associated PressFILE - In this Aug. 6, 2020, file photo, a customer leaves a Pier 1 retail store, which is going out of business, during the coronavirus pandemic in Coral Gables, Fla. The Labor Department reported unemployment numbers Thursday, Sept. 3. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)
The overall economy, as measured by the gross domestic product, collapsed at an annual rate of 31.7% from April through June, by far the worst three months on record, as millions of jobs disappeared. © Provided by Associated PressAn employee of the Mississippi Department of Employment Security WIN Job Center in Pearl, Miss., left, assists a client fill out paperwork, Monday, Aug. 31, 2020. The Labor Department reported unemployment numbers Thursday, Sept. 3. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)
The economy and job market have recovered somewhat from the initial shock. Employers added 10.6 million jobs from May through August, but that's still less than half the jobs lost in March and April.
The recovery remains fragile, imperiled by continuing COVID-19 infections as schools begin to reopen, and the failure to deliver another economic rescue package in Washington. © Provided by Associated PressA client stands outside this Mississippi Department of Employment Security WIN Job Center in Pearl, Miss., and waits for assistance from a staffer, Monday, Aug. 31, 2020. Because the Job Center lobbies are currently closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19, some locations are providing outdoor walkup assistance while maintaining social distancing and face masking to protect both parties. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
An extra $600 in weekly unemployment benefits ran out July 31, squeezing households that had depended on the beefed-up payments. President Donald Trump issued an executive order Aug. 8 providing a scaled-back version of that expanded aid. Most states signed up for federal grants that let them increase weekly benefits by $300 or $400. © Provided by Associated PressFILE - In this Sept. 2, 2020, file photo, shoppers pass by a former Clark's shoe store that is now one of several vacant retail spaces among the outlet shops in Freeport, Maine. The Labor Department reported unemployment numbers Thursday, Sept. 3. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)
That program is expiring.
The U.S. Labor Department releases its report at 8:30 a.m. Eastern. © Provided by Associated PressFILE - In this July 15, 2020, file photo, one-stop operator Vickie Gregorio with the Heartland Workforce Solutions updates a whiteboard outside the workforce office in Omaha, Neb., as those seeking employment await their turn outside. The Labor Department reported unemployment numbers Thursday, Sept. 3. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)