Weekly unemployment claims drop below 1 million
May unemployment data to be published on Friday
US jobless claims fell below 2 million last week for the first time since mid-March, but remains high as companies struggle to adapt to changing work environments due to the pandemic.
The Labor Department said Thursday that the seasonally adjusted number of new applications totaled 1.877 million. A week earlier, this figure was 2.126 million. Economists polled by Reuters predicted 1.8 million applications.
The maximum figure – 6.867 million – was recorded at the end of March. Although the number of applications remains high, the latest data indicate that the worst time for the labor market is behind us. On Wednesday it became known that the number of layoffs in the private sector was less than expected.
Polls also show increased consumer confidence. Some stabilization was noted both in industry and in the service sector. Many companies have resumed operations by mid-May.
Economists believe that the large number of applications is due to the second wave of layoffs, which began as companies adapted to the new conditions, as well as delays in processing applications due to the large influx of unemployed..
The layoffs were reported by Boeing and Energy Transfer, and many major retailers, including JC Penney and Neiman Marcus, filed for bankruptcy. The cuts are also taking place in government agencies at the state and municipal levels, whose budgets have been hit hard by the pandemic..
May unemployment data will be published on Friday. The number of non-agricultural jobs is expected to fall by 8 million. In April
a record decline was recorded – 20.537 million. The unemployment rate is expected to reach 19.8 percent (in April it was 14.7 percent).
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