(WASHINGTON) — The number of new weekly unemployment filings showed no relief for a labor market walloped by the COVID-19 crisis, as 884,000 people filed new jobless claims last week, the Department of Labor said Thursday.

While the latest tally is the same as the previous week’s adjusted figure, it is difficult to compare to previous weekly jobless claim numbers as the Department of Labor changed the methodology it used to seasonally adjust the data. Seasonal adjustment is a statistical technique the Bureau of Labor Statistics employs to remove the influence of predictable seasonal patterns — such as major holidays and back-to-school schedules — on the data. The changes come as the pandemic has upended nearly all predictable seasonal patterns.

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