Jobless claims fall to low of 1.3 million after pandemic, but layoffs may start to rise again as states close down

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The names: Initial jobless claims declined slightly in the second week of July to reach a post-pandemic low of 1.30 million, but reluctantly the decline indicates continued economic stress as the United States struggles to deal with the latest epidemic of coronavirus.
New claims for unemployment benefits, an approximate measure of layoffs, fell from 10,000 to 1.30 million compared to 1.31 million the previous week, the Labor Department announced on Thursday. Figures are seasonally adjusted.

Economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast 1.24 million new requests during the seven days ending July 11. These figures reflect claims traditionally filed by state unemployment offices.
Some 928,488 new claims were also filed under a temporary federal relief program, bringing the combined total for the week to 2.43 million euros.

Read: Soaring demand for federal unemployment benefits indicates new cracks in the economy
The number of people receiving traditional unemployment benefits through the state, known as continuous claims, fell by 422,000 to 17.34 million in the week ended July 4. This is the lowest level since mid-April, but it remains to be seen whether it continues to fall given the latest cracks in the economy.
As of June 27, 30 million people were receiving benefits under eight state and federal assistance programs, according to the latest available data. This is slightly down from the 32.4 million unadjusted the previous week.
MarketWatch reports some data on unemployment benefit claims using actual or unadjusted figures to give a clearer picture of unemployment. The seasonally adjusted estimates generally expected by Wall Street partially inflated jobless claims during the pandemic and became less precise.
Lis:Unemployment claims indicate that 30 million people are still unemployed. Is it really that bad?
What happened: New jobless claims were highest in Florida, Georgia and California – states that experienced new COVID-19 outbreaks. California again shut down much of its economy this week.
Big picture: The decline in the number of new jobless claims has slowed to creep in the past month. An economic rebound in May and June lost momentum in July amid a new wave of coronavirus cases that forced many states to reimpose partial blockages or suspend plans to reopen.
The latest setback should put even more people out of work and delay the return of others to their jobs, which will make the recovery of the economy more difficult. Economists say Washington must extend emergency unemployment benefits and increase other aid to prevent the situation from worsening.
What do they say? “The trend in initial jobless claims has pretty much stopped falling,” said Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics. “Next week could easily see an increase, for the first time since March, in the wake of the gradual and continuous reimposition of restrictions in the South and parts of the West. “
Market reaction: Le Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA,
-0,05%
et S&P 500 SPX,
-0,40%
fell in Thursday trades.

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