For the second consecutive week, the number of Americans filing new unemployment claims increased last week as new cases of COVID-19 continued to surge.
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) reported Thursday (July 30) that the number of seasonally adjusted initial jobless claims was 1,434,000, up 12,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up by 6,000 from 1,416,000 to 1,422,000.
One day prior to the release of the latest jobless data, analysts predicted the DOL report would show a second straight increase in new jobless claims to 1.445 million, highlighting the U.S. economy’s backslide as some states dealt with a resurgence in coronavirus cases and re-closed businesses.
Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at Bankrate.com, said the virus spread and economic rollbacks in the weeks since do not bode well for the labor market in the weeks and months ahead.
“The looming expiration of federal unemployment benefits without a clear-cut replacement threatens a chunk of consumer spending power that has sustained households and made its way back into the economy,” McBride said in a statement.
The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending July 18 were in Louisiana (5,728); Virginia (5,654) from the accommodation and food services assistance industry; California (4,680); Tennessee (3,713) where losses stemmed from layoffs in the public administration, arts, entertainment, and recreation, wholesale and educational services industries sectors; and Alabama (3,113) with layoffs in the accommodation and food services, administrative and support, waste management, remediation services and healthcare sectors.
The biggest decreases were seen in Florida (23,855), Texas (17,608), Georgia (16,139), New Jersey (12,893) and Washington (12,261).