U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims Fall to 2.4 Million

Daniel Fowler
May 21, 2020

When combined with initial jobless claims filed over the last eight weeks, the new figures took the nine-week jobless claims total to 38.6 million as the coronavirus pandemic continues to rattle the US economy.

This brings the nine-week jobless claims total since the coronavirus crisis took hold in the U.S.to approximately 38.6 million people.

If your regular benefits ended since July 1, 2019, have completed regular unemployment benefits to date and file the PEUC application, the OESC said you might be eligible to receive benefits via the PEUC claim. The prior week's figure was revised lower to 2.69 million from the previously reported 2.98 million.

The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for 2.4 million claims in the latest week.

Economists expected the US Department of Labor to report 2.4 million claims for last week. The largest decrease in claims was in California, where claims dropped by 103,590.

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Claims have been gradually declining since hitting a record 6.867 million in the week ended March 28.

The new claims numbers may be undercounting the toll the coronavirus and lockdowns have exacted on the US labor market. Florida had 221,000 claims, California 214,000, and NY roughly 200,000.

Continuing claims (which lag behind initial jobless claims data by one week) are anticipated to total 23.5 million for the week ending May 9, after a record 22.83 million in the previous week.

"The states may be opening back up, but the labor market is still closed for millions across America and the loss of the income and spending of those without jobs will be a considerable headwind for this economic recovery", MUFG Chief Financial Economist Chris Rupkey wrote in an email Thursday.

As of Wednesday afternoon, there were more than 4.9 million coronavirus cases and 324,000 deaths worldwide, according to Johns Hopkins University data. In the USA, there were 1.55 million cases and 93,400 deaths.

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