Another Million Applied for Jobless Benefits as Coronavirus Pandemic’s Economic Toll Rises

KEY POINTS

  • Initial U.S. jobless claims totaled just over 1 million for the week ending Aug. 22, down from 1.104 million in the previous week.
  • Economists polled by Dow Jones expected initial jobless claims expected claims to come in right at 1 million. 
  • It was the 22nd time in 23 weeks that initial claims were above 1 million.  
  • Since the pandemic began initial jobless claims have jumped by more than 58 million.

The number of Americans who filed for welfare for the very first time was available in above 1 million for the 22nd time in 23 weeks as the economy struggles to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, the Labor Department said Thursday.

Initial U.S. unemployed claims totaled just over 1 million for the week ending Aug. 22, below 1.104 million in the previous week. Economic experts polled by Dow Jones expected initial unemployed claims anticipated claims to come in right at 1 million.

It was the second-consecutive week that new claims were above 1 million. Initial claims were last below 1 million the week of Aug. 8, when they amounted to 971,000. Because the pandemic began initial jobless claims have leaped by more than 58 million.

“Continuing claims continue to drop, however still show a highly stressed labor market,” said Jamie Cox, managing partner at Harris Financial Group in Virginia. “Even a 1 million individual drop in the overall number out of work isn’t enough– there is a lot of work to be done since 14 million people are still receiving UI assistance of some kind.”

Continuing claims– which represent those getting unemployment benefits for a minimum of 2 straight weeks– fell by 223,000 to 14.535 million for the week ending Aug. 15. Information on continuing claims is delayed by one week.

New Jersey and Florida saw the highest boosts of initial claims for the week ending Aug. 15, as they rose by more than 11,000 in both states. Initial claims in New Yor and Texas jumped by more than 9,000 in each state. Data at the state and territory level is delayed by one week.

Thursday’s report follows a combined batch of economic data. Long-lasting product orders for July rose by 11.2% last month while sales of new houses were up 36% last month. However, customer confidence fell in August for a 2nd straight month.

Wall Street is also keeping an eye on the unemployment information as legislators have yet to progress on a brand-new coronavirus stimulus bundle.

Kayla Tausche reported that Republicans are set to propose a stimulus expense that would offer approximately $500 billion in aid. Nevertheless, this proposal is unlikely to get traction in the Democrat-controlled House. Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has shown she does not plan to restart settlements till the GOP concurs to double the cost of its existing proposal of approximately $1 trillion.

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