1.5 Million More Laid-Off Workers Seek Unemployment Benefits

Techlife News|June 13, 2020

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1.5 Million More Laid-Off Workers Seek Unemployment Benefits
About 1.5 million laid-off workers applied for U.S. unemployment benefits last week, evidence that many Americans are still losing their jobs even as the economy appears to be slowly recovering with more businesses partially reopening.

The latest figure from the Labor Department marked the 10th straight weekly decline in applications for jobless aid since they peaked in mid-March when the coronavirus hit hard. Still, the pace of layoffs remains historically high.

The total number of people who are receiving unemployment aid fell slightly, a sign that some people who were laid offwhen restaurants, retail chains and small businesses suddenly shut down have been recalled to work.

The figures are “consistent with a labor market that has begun what will be a slow and difficult healing process,” said Nancy Vanden Houten, an economist at Oxford Economics. “Still, initial jobless claims remain at levels that at the start of the year might have seemed unthinkable.”

Last week’s jobs report showed that employers added 2.5 million jobs in May, an unexpected increase that suggested that the job market has bottomed out.

But the recovery has begun slowly. Though the unemployment rate unexpectedly declined from 14.7%, it is still a high 13.3%. And even with the May hiring gain, just one in nine jobs that were lost in March and April have returned. Nearly 21 million people are officially classified as unemployed.

Even those figures don’t capture the full scope of the damage to the job market. Including people the government said had been erroneously categorized as employed in the May jobs report and those who lost jobs but didn’t look for new ones, 32.5 million people are out of work, economists estimate. That would have raised May’s unemployment rate to 19.7%.

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June 13, 2020