New Jobless Claims Drop As Economy Picks Up

New Jobless Claims Drop As Economy Picks Up

June 24, 2021 at 05:05PM

After an unexpected rise in new jobless claims last week, numbers are trending downward again for the week ending June 19, according to the Thursday (June 24) report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Initial claims came in at 411,000, down 7,000 from the previous week’s level, which was revised up by 6,000 from 412,000 to 418,000. During the week ending June 5, there were 5,950,167 continued weekly claims for Pandemic Unemployment in all states. Continued claims for Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits totaled 5,273,180.

Rhode Island, Nevada, California, Alaska, Connecticut, Illinois, New York, and Washington, D.C. posted the highest unemployment rates for the week ending June 5

Last week’s uptick is largely considered an anomaly, not the beginning of a new upward direction, Yahoo Finance reported.

“One in a row is not a streak,” Greg McBride, chief financial analyst for Bankrate, told Yahoo Finance. “Last week’s increase in unemployment claim filings notwithstanding, the broader trend is clearly in the direction of an improving labor market, not a deteriorating one. The only question is the pace of that improvement.”

About 50 percent of states are planning to end the federal pandemic unemployment boost before it is scheduled to officially end in September. Four U.S. states ended the $300 increase on June 12, The Wall Street Journal reported.

“Right now, there’s a lot of demand for labor out there and it’s the workers that are a little more in the driver’s seat,” Jordan van Rijn, senior economist at the Credit Union National Association, told the WSJ.

There is still a shortage of labor in many sectors, but the restaurant industry especially is hurting due to the lack of workers. The unemployment rate in that market was 9 percent last month. The national unemployment rate was 5.8 percent by May. Unemployment during the COVID-19 pandemic was 15 percent last May.