Unemployment claims are declining very slowly
Americans lost their jobs at a frenetic pace beginning in March, as unemployment figures rocketed to never-before-seen totals, but they are not coming back nearly as quickly, data from the U.S. Department of Labor shows.
Why it matters: While the number of claims has fallen, nearly 35 million Americans were receiving or had applied for some kind of unemployment insurance as of June 13.
- Those numbers are especially shocking given that businesses have been reopened in certain parts of the U.S. for close to a month after government-imposed lockdowns.
- “Labor market problems have shifted away from mass closings and layoffs in immediate response to shutdown orders, and toward still-catastrophic numbers of new layoffs related to the long-term, reverberating effects of a recession,” Andrew Stettner, senior fellow at The Century Foundation, told Reuters.
Driving the news: The Labor Department found another 1.51 million Americans filed new applications for traditional jobless benefits last week, down slightly from 1.57 million applications the week before.
Watch this space: The number of people applying for benefits via the government's Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program increased by nearly 60,000 last week.
- The Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program saw claims rise by close to half a million for the week ended May 30.