In addition, 975,000 people requested Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, a new federal program for the self-employed and construction workers. This figure has increased by 20,000 from the previous week.
This marks the 17th week in a row that total jobless claims have exceeded 2 million. But regular jobless claims had declined from the last week of March, when they peaked at 6.6 million, until last week’s increase to 1.4 million from 1.3 million.“The 15 straight weeks of declining initial US claims from record levels are over,” Jennifer Lee, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets Economics, wrote in a note. “But given that the resurgence in the number of COVID-19 cases in parts of the country has led to a reversal of restrictions, this was expected. ”
The biggest jumps in jobless claims were in Florida, Georgia, California, Washington and Indiana, states that have seen a sharp increase in the number of COVID-19 cases.
“The risk of repeated business closures is that temporary job cuts will become permanent. This could lead to an even slower pace of recovery, ”wrote Rubeela Farooqi, chief US economist at High Frequency Economics, in a note.
The total number of people receiving unemployment benefits under all state and federal programs edged down to 31.8 million in the first week of July. This represents about 1 in 5 people in the workforce.
Latest round of layoffs come just before temporary weekly federal assistance of $ 600 is paid to the unemployedat the end of this week. Members of Congress are negotiating another aid package that could extend this benefit, albeit likely at a lower payment level.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.