New US jobless claims slow to 2.43 million in latest week

Cornelia Mascio
Mag 24, 2020

New numbers from the U.S. Department of Labor found that Michigan's unemployment rate dropped to 22.6% last week, which was down from 23.1% two weeks ago.

Initial claims under the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program - which expands unemployment benefits to such individuals not typically eligible - totaled 2.23 million last week.

Economists estimate an additional 2.4 million filings in the week ending May 16, following 2.98 million claims during the previous week.

The state also reported fewer layoffs in the manufacturing, healthcare and social assitance industries.

The latest figures push the nine-week tally north of 38 million.

The figure was in line with analysts' forecasts, and brings the average in new claims over the last four weeks to 3,042,000, seasonally adjusted, while the number of people actually receiving benefits - usually lower as applicants take time to be approved - 25,073,000 as of May 9, the Labor Department said.

That program is aimed at workers like contractors and self-employed people who would not normally qualify for traditional benefits - indicating the weekly job losses may be closer to 4.7 million. Florida had 221,000 claims, California 214,000, and NY roughly 200,000. The official first phase of a gradual reopening of the state's economy is to begin June 1.

Jobless claims have reached into the millions on a weekly basis since mid-March, underscoring the depth and breadth of job losses.

Unemployment is expected to remain elevated through the end of next year, and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told lawmakers earlier this week that longer-term joblessness risks extended damage to the economy.

The CDLE will release its monthly employment report detailing the April unemployment rate and other details Friday morning. Backlogs have led to delays for millions of Americans across the country in receiving payments, as states scramble to keep up with the unprecedented number of claims. CT said last week it had misreported its numbers. The fix was reflected in Thursday's report.

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