- Jobless claims fell to 364,000 last week, landing below the median estimate of 388,000.
- The print marks a second straight weekly decline and a new pandemic-era low for initial claims.
- Continuing claims jumped to 3.47 million for the week that ended June 19. That missed estimates.
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The number of Americans filing for unemployment insurance sank last week as some Republican-led states ended the federal government’s boost to benefits.
Jobless claims totaled an unadjusted 364,000 last week, the Labor Department announced Thursday morning. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg held a median estimate of 388,000 claims. The print marks a second straight weekly decline and a new pandemic-era low.
The prior week’s count was revised to 415,000 from 411,000.
Continuing claims, which count Americans receiving unemployment payments, gained to 3.47 million for the week that ended June 19. The median estimate was for claims to fall to 3.33 million.
The Thursday report is the first to reflect the effects of many states’ early cancellation of the federal unemployment-insurance supplement. The government’s $300-a-week boost to benefits is scheduled to lapse in September, but 26 states – all but one Republican-led – have announced plans to cancel the benefit early. The first states to take such action rolled back the benefit in mid-June, with most touting the move as a way to get more Americans back into the labor force.
The downward trend in jobless claims slowed through June as the economy reopened further and businesses rushed to rehire. Weekly counts are still roughly twice the pre-pandemic average, but are down significantly from levels seen in early spring. Continuing claims have staged a slower recovery as Americans take their time returning to the workforce.
Earlier this week, ADP’s monthly employment report showed the private sector adding 692,000 payrolls through June. The print beat the median forecast of a 600,000-payroll jump and marked a sixth consecutive month of job additions.
Economists will get the most detailed look at June hiring Friday, when the Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes its own jobs report. The US economy is expected to have added 706,000 nonfarm payrolls through last month, an acceleration from the May increase of 559,000. Economists see the unemployment rate dipping to 5.6% from 5.8%.