US Jobless claims are expected top one million for 14 weeks in a row due to the coronavirus pandemic when official figures are released on Thursday, taking jobless claims close to 50 million.
Another 1.3 million Americans are expected to have filed for initial jobless claims in the last week, according to the analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters. In the week ended June 20, 1.48 million Americans filed for claims, according to the Labour Department, which was worse than analysts’ estimate of 1.35 million.
While the figure has fallen in every week after peaking at 6.9 million in the week ended March 28, the data is still quite high for comfort. Furthermore, claims have been more or stagnant near 1.5 million for three weeks now.
“This was better than expected, but we would caution that is rather choppy and could move higher once again next week,” said James Knightley, the chief international economist at ING.
The employment crisis in the pandemic far exceeds the 2008 financial crisis. In the last three months, 47 million Americans have filed or jobless claims. In the crisis 12 years ago, the height of which lasted around 18 months, 37 million Americans filed for claims.
The continuing claims or the people who have already filed for jobless claims in the previous weeks and continue to file for claims were 19.5 million last week. This was the first time in two months when continuing claims fell below 20 million.
Meanwhile, infections are rising in some US states like Texas, Florida, and Arizona. Last week, the US recorded its worst single day for infections during the pandemic. Texas has already halted its reopening plans to prevent the overburdening of its medical infrastructure.
The rising infections could play for dampener for the US employment sector. Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said: “The danger now is that claims rebound in other states where infections are rising rapidly, and people are starting again to stay away from restaurants and malls.”