Jobless Claims Show It’s Back to Work Only for Some Americans

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Some 1.51 million Americans filed for first-time jobless benefits last week, the 11th week of improvement but a still-telling sign of the depths of the economic downturn and its impact on the U.S. labor market. 

The Labor Department said 1,508,000 Americans filed jobless claims for the week ended June 13, down from a revised 1,566,000 claims for the week earlier, as states continued to slowly reopen after more than two-and-a-half months of being shuttered during the coronavirus pandemic.

Continuing claims, which is the number of people not just filing but staying on unemployment benefits, were 20.544 million for the week ended May 30. The continuing claims numbers are reported with a one-week lag, but are considered a better gauge of the labor market.

Signs of economic growth have begun to re-emerge, including an unexpectedly strong rebound in U.S. retail spending last month, which in turn is expected to continue driving employment growth in the all-important retail sector.

Still, with the economy formally in recession and with a resurgence of coronavirus cases impacted pockets of the country, many businesses and firms remain cautious about rehiring, leaving millions of people out of work since the pandemic hit.

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