A report released by the Labor Department on Thursday showed first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits fell by much less than expected in the week ended June 27th.
The Labor Department said initial jobless claims dropped to 1.427 million, a decrease of 55,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 1.482 million.
Economists had expected jobless claims to tumble to 1.355 million from the 1.480 million originally reported for the previous week.
Jobless claims fell for the thirteenth straight week after reaching a record high of 6.867 million in the week ended March 28th, although the pace of decline has slowed notably in recent weeks.
The report said the less volatile four-week moving average of jobless claims slumped to 1,503,750, a decrease of 117,500 from the previous week’s revised average of 1,621,250.
Meanwhile, the Labor Department said continuing claims, a reading on the number of people receiving ongoing unemployment assistance, climbed by 59,000 to 19.290 million in the week ended June 20.
The four-week moving average of continuing claims still plunged to 19,854,000, a decrease of 494,500 from the previous week’s revised average of 20,348,500.
“The number of continuing claims increased slightly, although they declined if we exclude data from California and Florida, which have been more volatile,” said a note from economists at Oxford Economics.
They added, “While the continuing claims figures indicate that layoffs are being offset by rehiring due to reopening businesses, employees being recalled, or new occupations, at 19.3 million, the number of individuals collecting regular state benefits is more than 10 times the number prior to the pandemic.”
The Labor Department also released its more closely watched monthly employment report on Thursday due to holiday on Friday, with the report showing another record spike in employment in the month of June.
The report said non-farm payroll employment skyrocketed by 4.8 million jobs in June after soaring by an upwardly revised 2.7 million jobs in May.
Economists had expected employment to surge up by about 3.0 million jobs compared to the spike of 2.5 million jobs originally reported for the previous month.
The Labor Department also said the unemployment rate dropped to 11.1 percent in June from 13.3 percent in May. The unemployment rate had been expected to dip to 12.3 percent.
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