DESPITE moves to reopen businesses nationwide, another 1.54 million U.S. workers filed for unemployment benefits last week, the Labor Department said on Thursday, bringing the total initial claims since mid-March to 44.2 million. Weekly initial jobless claims have decelerated for 10 consecutive weeks.
At the end of last week, 1.2 million New Jersey workers had filed for unemployment benefits. Those figures are reported with a one-week lag. Over the past 3 months, more than 44 million Americans have filed for unemployment insurance.
And in another sobering gut check, those relying on jobless benefits beyond the first week, known as continuing claims, still hovers around an eye-popping 21 million.
"Initial jobless claims continued the gradual downward trend", Capital Economics wrote in a note Thursday.
Amazon halts police use of facial recognition tech
Almost 40% of the false matches were of people of color, the study said, even though they made up 20% of Congress at the time. The ACLU is now demanding the company commit to an indefinite moratorium until federal legislation is passed.
The onslaught of unemployment claims that followed state mandated closures of entire business sectors overwhelmed the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, which said it had never before processed as many claims in such a short period.
Weekly new claims for unemployment still remain far above historic levels, but have dropped steadily from a peak of 6.9 million in April.
PUA claims totaled 705,676 on an unadjusted basis in the week ending June 6, down from the prior week's 796,813. "Similarly, stabilization in PUA continuing claims would signal re-employment for gig workers, but this is not our base case in next week's report".
The data was slightly worse than expected but in line with the May unemployment report released last week, which showed the unemployment rate declining to 13.3 per cent from 14.7 per cent in April as the U.S. economy added 2.5 million jobs. While that is dramatically higher than the 1.7 million average prior to the pandemic, the insured unemployment rate declined 0.2 points to 14.4 per cent.