Another 1.5 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits over the past week, bringing the total jobs lost since the pandemic began to more than 44 million — or some 28 percent of the nation’s workforce.
For the week ending June 6, seasonally adjusted initial unemployment claims were 1.5 million. However, that’s down from 355,000 from the previous week’s revised level.
Mark Hamrick, Bankrate.com’s senior economic analyst, said that while new claims have declined for 10 straight weeks, the nation’s economic plight remains dire, with the nation’s unemployment rate in the double-digits.
“As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to claim devastating tolls in lives and lost economic output, the elevated level of new jobless claims at 1.5 million serves as a reminder that this two-sided crisis is very much persisting,” he said in a statement. “New claims have topped one million for 12 straight weeks. That’s in contrast to fewer than 300,000 new claims in mid-March before the crisis took hold.”
The COVID-19 virus continues to impact the number of initial claims, the Department of Labor (DOL) said in a statement.
The previous week’s level was revised up by 20,000 from 1,877,000 to 1,897,000. The four-week moving average was two million, a decrease of 286,250 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 4,250 from 2,284,000 to 2,288,250.
The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending May 30 were in Florida (32,296), California (25,372), Oklahoma (16,662) and Mississippi (158). Among the states with the largest decreases are New York (107,161), Michigan (25,284), Texas (21,040), Pennsylvania (18,050) and Washington (17,507).
In a sign that some workers have returned to work and no longer need unemployment benefits, the number of people filing continued claims for benefits dropped to 20.9 million in the week ending May 30 after rising to 21.2 million in the prior week.
On Wednesday (June 10), PYMNTS reported that consumer prices fell last month, led by drops in the cost of motor vehicle insurance, energy and apparel. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) said the Consumer Price Index for city dwellers fell by 0.1 percent in May, on a seasonally adjusted basis, after falling 0.8 percent in April. Increases were reported in the housing shelter and food indexes, in part due to the “food at home” index rising.