Another 1.48 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, indicating a slow economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and related blockade as layoffs remain historically high, even when many companies have reopened.
The latest unemployment claims number from the Labor Department, which covers the week ending June 20, increases the number of job losses since the shutdown began to around 47 million.
Economists surveyed by Refinitiv forecast 1.3 million. The number from the previous week was revised to 32,000 1.54 million.
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The numbers remain at historically high levels, even when each US state. USA It gradually begins to reduce restrictions on residents and allows businesses to reopen. It is the fourteenth week in a row that jobless claims reached more than 1 million; Before the pandemic, the record was 695,000 set in 1982.
Still, it marks the twelfth consecutive weekly decline in Americans seeking unemployment benefits, as claims peaked at nearly 7 million in late March when the virus forced an unprecedented shutdown of the nation’s economy. Continuing claims, the number of people receiving benefits after an initial week of aid, decreased by 767,000 to 19.52 million.
California saw the biggest jump in applications last week, jumping at 45,930. The state is one of several, including Florida, Texas, and Arizona, which has seen an increase in COVID-19 cases in the past week.
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The sudden resurgence of cases has shaken markets, threatening to derail the nation’s slow but steady recovery from the pandemic. On Wednesday, the nation set a record for new cases.
“The labor market continues its lethargic recovery as we see one more week of modest declines in the tens of millions of Americans who continue to claim UI benefits amid an ongoing pandemic,” said Daniel Zhao, economist at Glassdoor. “While recent economic indicators like the May jobs report fueled optimism for a quick recovery earlier this month, the slow improvement in continuing claims curbs those high hopes.”
A surprisingly good jobs report for May, which showed that the nation’s unemployment rate unexpectedly fell to 13.3 percent from 14.7 percent last month, raised hopes of a so-called V-shaped recovery.
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But if the virus outbreak escalates, forcing companies to close again, economists have warned that the consequences could be severe.
“I think a second wave would really undermine public confidence and could lead to a significantly longer recovery and a weaker recovery,” Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said in late May.
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