Speed Reads

'massively concerning'

New jobless claims decline but stay above 1 million

The number of new jobless claims in the United States has surpassed one million for yet another week.

The Labor Department on Thursday said that just over one million more Americans filed initial unemployment claims last week, down from about 1.1 million the week prior, CNBC reports. Continuing claims declined to 14.5 million. Before the coronavirus pandemic, the most jobless claims filed in a week on record was 695,000.

This came after last week, the number of new jobless claims unexpectedly rose above one million after previously dipping below that threshold, leading to concerns among experts that the numbers were "trending in the wrong direction." Though the number declined this week, this is the 22nd time in 23 weeks that there were more than one million jobless claims, CNBC notes, and The Washington Post's Heather Long wrote that this latest report shows that there are still "an alarming number of people" out of work.

"We're chipping away at the losses in terms of the number of jobs and some of the weaknesses there," Wells Fargo Securities economist Sarah House told The Wall Street Journal, "but there's still a long ways to go." Indeed economist AnnElizabeth Konkel also told the Journal, "It's massively concerning that five months into this crisis we are still seeing those levels. It's just really pointing to how much economic pain there is right now, and I don't really expect that to change anytime soon."