Unemployment benefits: Another 1.5 million Americans filed for first-time unemployment claims last week

Another 1.5 million Americans filed for first-time unemployment benefits last week on a seasonally adjusted basis, the Department of Labor reported on Thursday.

Although initial jobless claims have been falling every week since peaking at 6.9 million in the last week of March, millions of people remain reliant on government aid to make ends meet because the pandemic eradicated their jobs.

More than 44 million individuals have filed for initial unemployment benefits since mid-March, when then US economy power down to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Stripping out seasonal adjustments, last week’s unemployment claims still stood at 1.5 million, a decrease of not exactly 83,000 from the last week. In normal times, seasonal adjustments are used to lessen the data set, but in this unprecedented crisis, the adjustments can distort the picture somewhat.

In addition to regular unemployment insurance, not exactly 706,000 people in 42 states filed initial claims for the pandemic unemployment assistance program last week.

Congress created the program to temporarily provide benefits to independent contractors, the self-employed, gig workers and certain people affected by the coronavirus. That’s in addition to the significantly more than 2.1 million Americans who filed first-time pandemic program claims over the fourteen days ending May 30. None of these applicants are contained in the seasonally adjusted data for the regular unemployment program.

Continuing claims, counting individuals who have applied for unemployment benefits for at least fourteen days in a row, declined to 20.9 million, compared with last week’s reported 21.3 million.

Economists have began emphasizing continued claims as an improved indicator of the state of the labor market last month, as numerous states began reopening their economies.

This is just a developing story. It will undoubtedly be updated

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