About 1.3 million workers filed for unemployment insurance for the first time last week — the 17th straight week new claims exceeded 1 million as the coronavirus pandemic continues to drag down the economy.
Nearly 17.4 million workers were continually claiming unemployment insurance for the week ended
“What we’re seeing is continued, historic elevated rates of job loss in the United States,” said
The weekly filings decreased only slightly from the previous week, when 1.31 million workers filed for unemployment for the first time. They have steadily decreased from their high of 6.9 million filings for the week ended
Jobless claims are still nearly double the worst weeks in previous economic crises, including 665,000 during the Great Recession and 695,000, the previous record, from 1982.
The numbers come as
The virus’s surge nationwide has touched off a new round of closures that have dashed any remaining hope of a quick economic recovery. The stock market edged downward on Wednesday, on fresh fears about the virus’s long-term effects on the economy. The Dow Jones industrial average ended the day down half a percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq fell .73 percent.
There are signs that job losses are reaching deeper into the economy as well.
Retailers have announced layoffs this week as well, including
Higher education and local governments — bastions of typically stable, middle-class jobs — appear to have begun to feel the hit that many have been warning about, with many reporting budget shortfalls.
Colleges and universities in states such as
Bunker’s research, using data from the
In April, 5.5 percent of people who were unemployed reported permanent job losses. By June, that figure increased to 20 percent. In April, the top five jobs with the worst losses were those most directly affected by the virus and shutdowns: housekeepers and cleaners, waiters, retail workers, and cashiers, he found.
But by June, those jobs had shifted to other occupations, pointing to broader economic damage: carpenters, paralegals, managers, financial analysts and customer sales representatives.
“This is in some sense the labor market version of not seeing coronavirus case going down,” he said. “At this point, you’d hope to see additions to unemployment rolls tick down as we got layoffs under control. But what we’ve seen as it stalls out is that it’s likely the kinds of layoffs have shifted and that they’re more permanent, more enduring and more spread out through the economy.”