Jul 2, 2020 - Economy

1.4 million Americans filed for unemployment last week

A staff member wearing a mask sets tables at a restaurant in New York, the United States, June 22, 2020

Photo: Wang Ying/Xinhua via Getty Images

Another 1.4 million Americans filed for unemployment last week, the Department of Labor announced Thursday.

Why it matters: New applications for unemployment remain historically high, suggesting layoffs are still widely prevalent. However, they remain well below the all-time record seen when the coronavirus pandemic first hit.

The big picture: The unemployment snapshot was released alongside the government's June jobs report, which is the most accurate snapshot of the labor market, even though it’s not as timely as the weekly unemployment claims report.

  • June's jobs report is even less helpful than usual because its survey period ended early in the month — meaning that more recent developments, like the surge in coronavirus cases and resultant closures in some states, aren't captured in its data.
  • Worth noting: Jobless claims only reflect how many people are losing work. The report doesn't show whether — or how many — people are being hired.
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