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Weekly Jobless Claims Point to a Still-Slammed Labor Market

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Despite leveling off in recent weeks, weekly first-time jobless benefit claims are still clocking in in the millions as Americans continue to lose jobs at the hands of the coronavirus-induced economic downturn.  

More than 47 million applications for unemployment benefits have been submitted since the coronavirus pandemic began in March, government records showed on Thursday, a number never before seen in history, including the Great Depression.

For the week ended June 6, the Labor Department said 1.542 million Americans filed jobless claims, down from the 1.877 million claims for the week earlier and roughly in line with the 1.5 million claims expected by economists polled by FactSet.

However, continuing claims, which is the number of people not just filing but staying on unemployment benefits, came in at 20.929 million for the week ended May 23, suggesting the U.S. labor market remains badly beaten from the pandemic. 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported last Friday that a net 2.509 million jobs were created last month, compared for a forecast of 9 million losses, pulling the unemployment rate down to 13.3%.

However, even though numbers are being called into question as the bureau itself pointed to discrepancies in the numbers, leaving investors and analysts with more questions than answers about the current state of the labor market.


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