US weekly jobless claims hit 1.3 million, slightly exceeding economist forecasts

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  • US jobless claims for the week that ended Saturday totaled 1.3 million, the Labour Department said Thursday. That came in slightly above the consensus economist estimate of 1.25 million.
  • Thursday’s report marked the 15th straight week of declining claims. It also brought total filings over a 17-week period to more than 51 million.
  • Continuing claims, the aggregate total of people receiving unemployment benefits, totaled 17.3 million for the week that ended July 4.
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More than a million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, signalling that pandemic-induced layoffs remain elevated even with the US economy reopening.

US weekly jobless claims totaled 1.3 million in the week that ended Saturday, the Labour Department said Thursday. That came in lower than the consensus economist estimate of 1.38 million compiled by Bloomberg.

In just a few months, the more than 51 million unemployment claims filed during the coronavirus pandemic have far surpassed the 37 million during the 18-month Great Recession. Even though weekly claims have now consistently declined for 15 weeks in a row, the latest figure is still roughly double the 665,000 filed during the Great Recession’s worst week.


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Initial claims 7 11 20

Continuing claims, which represent the aggregate total of people receiving unemployment benefits, came in at 17.3 million for the week that ended July 4, a decline from the prior period’s revised number.

Still, there are signs that early gains made in the US labour market when the economy began to open up may now be retreating as coronavirus cases spike.

In the last two weeks, job openings on Glassdoor have slumped 5.5%, with declines in all 50 states, according to a Tuesday report. On Tuesday, the US reported more than 67,400 new COVID-19 cases, another record, bringing total cases to more than 3.3 million.

The recent uptick in cases further threatens the economic recovery as states have had to pause or roll back their reopening plans, threatening further layoffs. Nearly half of all cases reported Tuesday came from Texas, California, and Florida, all states that have reintroduced some lockdown restrictions to combat the virus.


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