Unemployment Claims Continue to Fall

Roy Maurer By Roy Maurer June 4, 2020
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Around 1.8 million U.S. workers filed for new unemployment benefits during the week ending May 30. First-time claims have been gradually falling since hitting a record 6.8 million in late March, indicating that the downturn triggered by a near shutdown of the country in mid-March to control the spread of COVID-19 is bottoming out. It's important to note however that another 623,000 self-employed, independent contractors and other nontraditional workers claimed unemployment last week under the newly created Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program providing jobless benefits to workers previously not eligible for unemployment.

The number of workers continuing to claim unemployment benefits held at 21 million. The weekly jobless claims report is the most timely economic indicator for measuring the impact of the virus on the U.S. labor market.

Payroll provider ADP reported yesterday that private sector employment is down 2.8 million jobs from April to May. Tomorrow, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics will release its data on jobs created or lost for the same time period.

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