More than three months into the COVID-19 crisis in the U.S., countless Americans are still unemployed. Thursday’s release of the weekly initial jobless claims data could show another week of claims exceeding 1 million.
Economist surveyed by Bloomberg predict another 1.335 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits in the week ending June 30, following 1.51 million claims in the prior week. While last week’s report marked 11 consecutive weeks of deceleration, more than 45 million Americans have filed for unemployment insurance over the past 13 weeks.
Continuing claims, which lags initial jobless claims data by one week, is expected to total 20 million in the week ending June 13, down from 20.54 million in the week ending June 6.
“Initial jobless claims continue to moderate only gradually,” Nomura economist Lewis Alexander wrote in a note. “Continuing claims during the week ending 6 June rose slightly to 18.65mn NSA from 18.63mn, but volatile data from California continued to distort the release, indicating some room for a larger decline in the next release. Altogether, while the labor market remains exceptionally weak, signs of gradual improvement suggest another month of NFP gains during June.”
In the week ending June 13, California reported the highest number of jobless claims at an estimated 243,000 on an unadjusted basis, down from 256,000 in the previous week. Georgia had 131,000, down from 135,000. New York reported 96,000 and Texas had roughly 94,000 jobless claims.
Additionally, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program claims, which include those who were previously ineligible for unemployment insurance such as self-employed and contracted workers, will also be closely monitored in Thursday’s report.
PUA claims totaled 760,5266 on an unadjusted basis in the week ending June 13, up from the prior week’s 694,463.
As states reopen their economies, cases and hospitalization figures are back on the rise. As of Wednesday afternoon, there were more than 9.2 million cases and 478,000 COVID-19 deaths around the world, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The U.S. had 2.3 million cases and 121,000 deaths.
Heidi Chung is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @heidi_chung.
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