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1.3 Million Americans Filed First-Time Jobless Claims Last Week

An additional 1.3 million Americans filed first-time jobless claims for the week ending July 11, according to Department of Labor data released Thursday.

Thursday’s numbers are down only 10,000 from the week before, CNN business reported. On an unadjusted basis, over 1.5 million Americans filed jobless claims for the first time – a number that has risen almost 109,000 from the week before, the publication notes.

Jobless claims have remained at historically high levels for the past several months due to the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent stay-at-home and quarantine orders, ABC News reports. As these orders have begun to be lifted, first time unemployment applications began to decline. But last week’s numbers were less than economists had expected.

“Overall, filings remain high and are declining at a stubbornly slow pace,” Rubeela Farooqi, chief US economist for High Frequency Economics, told CNN Business. “The pace could slow even further or reverse in coming weeks in response to a surge in virus cases and related closures of businesses.”

Bankrate’s senior economic analyst Mark Hamrick noted Thursday that “new claims have dropped for 14 straight weeks despite the uneven nature of COVID-19 restrictions and the outbreak itself,” according to ABC News.

“Even so, with more bankruptcies and job cuts announced in the retail sector, for example, the economy remains at significant risk in the weeks and months ahead,” he added.

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