By ABC News

(WASHINGTON) — Another 779,000 workers lost their jobs and filed for unemployment insurance in the United States last week, the U.S. Department of Labor said Thursday, as the pandemic-induced economic crisis continues to upend the labor market.

This is a decrease of some 33,000 compared to the previous week’s figure, though the latest tally remains highly elevated by historical standards. 

Moreover, the Labor Department said that some 17.8 million people were still claiming some form of unemployment benefits through all programs as of the week ending Jan. 16. For the comparable week last year, that figure hovered just above two million.

Thursday’s jobless claims tally comes ahead of Friday’s highly-anticipated jobs report — the first to be released since U.S. President Joe Biden took office. The report is expected to paint a more complete picture of the state of the U.S. labor market and the pace of the recovery.

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