The number of initial jobless claims in the United States rose to 1.43 million last week amid a resurgence in COVID-19 cases, following an increase in previous week, the Labor Department reported Thursday.
In the week ending July 25, the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits increased by 12,000 from a revised 1,422,000 in the prior week, the department said.
Initial jobless claims peaked at a record 6.87 million in the week ending March 28 amid COVID-19 shutdowns, and the figures have declined for 15 weeks consecutively, before the trend was reversed in the week ending July 18.
With the latest numbers, a staggering 54.1 million initial jobless claims have been filed over the past 19 weeks, indicating the mounting economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The new report also showed that the four-week moving average, a method to iron out data volatility, increased by 6,500 to 1.37 million.
The latest data “confirms that the economy’s recovery has lost momentum in recent weeks,” Sarah House, senior economist at Wells Fargo Securities, wrote in an analysis.
As Congress continues to debate the extension of the extra 600 dollars unemployment benefits, which are set to expire Friday, House said the “stakes are high” with more than 30 million workers collecting unemployment insurance.
The jobless data was released on the same day when United States Commerce Department reported that the economy contracted at an annual rate of 32.9 percent in the second quarter, the sharpest decline in decades.
Several United States states, especially those in the South and West, have recently seen an uptick in COVID-19 cases, and over 20 states have already paused or partially reversed reopening efforts amid an alarming resurgence of cases, which could undermine the nascent economic recovery.
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