The nation’s economic numbers were a mixed bag Thursday (June 25) with a higher-than-expected 1.5 million Americans filing jobless claims while durable goods orders rose by nearly 16 percent in May.
The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell for the 12th consecutive week to 1,480,000 from a revised 1,508,000 a week earlier as the slow U.S. economic recovery continues, according to the U.S. Labor Department.
While claims continue to fall, Thursday’s total was still higher than the roughly 1.4 million claims that analysts had expected, and also brings the post-COVID-19 total to more than 47 million. It’s also the 14th straight week that claims have exceeded 1 million.
“Three months into the unprecedented economic downturn ignited by the COVID-19 outbreak, the nation’s job market is mired in uncharted and heartbreaking territory,” said Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst with Bankrate.com. “The highly elevated but declining levels of new and continuing unemployment claims suggest tens of millions of Americans are still in dire straits.”
The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending June 13 were in Oklahoma (7,254), Texas (5,047), New Jersey (3,272), New York (1,351) and Louisiana (1,243) while the largest decreases were in Florida (24,013), Maryland (18,188), Massachusetts (14,731), California (14,412) and Michigan (6,543).
However, the worse than expected jobless claims numbers came out at the same time as the U.S Census Bureau reported that new orders for durable goods in May increased 15.8 percent to $194.4 billion. Last month’s boost follows two consecutive monthly decreases, including an 18 percent drop in April.
Transportation equipment led the increase, rising nearly 81 percent to $46.9 billion following two consecutive monthly decreases.