Another 1.3 million Americans filed first-time claims for state unemployment benefits in the week ending July 4, the Labor Department said Thursday, and 1 million new claims were filed under the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program created to provide federal unemployment insurance to the self-employed, gig workers and others who aren’t eligible for traditional benefits.
“Job losses remain catastrophically bad,” said Ben Casselman of The New York Times in a tweet. “We can debate the best measure to use, but the big picture is the same no matter what: Nearly four months into this crisis, claims are still higher than in ANY period before this. And the decline has stalled out.”
The new state unemployment filings were lower than the 1.39 million economists surveyed by Dow Jones had expected and a decrease of 99,000 from the previous week. The number of new jobless claims has been falling since early April, but remains at levels well above the pre-pandemic record.
“This is the 16th week in a row that unemployment claims have been more than twice the *worst* week of the Great Recession,” economist Heidi Shierholz of the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute tweeted.