US Weekly Jobless Claims Exceeds 1 Million for 14th Straight Week.

The number of Americans filing for jobless benefits held nearly steady for the second week in a row, the 14th straight week that unemployment claims have topped 1 million and an indicator that the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic will be slow.

Initial US jobless claims reached 1.48 million in the week ending June 20, the US Department of Labor said on Thursday only 60,000 less than the previous week’s revised level.

Roughly 1.5 million people filed for unemployment last week, a drop of about 60,000 from the previous week, according to data released Thursday by the Department of Labor. Claims have fallen steadily since peaking at 6.9 million in March but remain far above pre-pandemic levels. The previous one-week record for unemployment claims sat just shy of 700,000.

The total number of people receiving unemployment, however, at 19.5 million, was the first dip below 20 million in two months.

An additional 728,000 people filed for unemployment benefits through Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, a federal plan created during the COVID-19 pandemic to help gig workers, self-employed people, and others who may not otherwise qualify for unemployment benefits.

Coronavirus cases are surging across the country, leading some governors to pause their states’ economic reopening plans to slow the spread of the disease, sparking fears that the economy has slowly begun to recover from the pandemic-induced lockdown and resulting recession will once again worsen.

Data showed that employers added jobs to the payroll in May and retail spending rebounded last month, though it remained below pre-pandemic levels. The markets have wobbled in recent days amid fear of a new surge in cases in some of the nation’s most populous states.

“The labor market continues its lethargic recovery as we see another week of only modest declines in the tens of millions of Americans continuing to claim UI benefits amid an ongoing pandemic,” Daniel Zhao, senior economist at Glassdoor, said in a statement. “While recent economic indicators like the May jobs report stoked optimism for a swift recovery earlier this month, the slow improvement in continuing claims puts a damper on those high hopes.”

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Originally published at on June 25, 2020.



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