US jobless claims dropped to 1.3mn last week

The number of initial jobless claims in the US totaled 1.3 million last week, the 13th weekly decline in a row but still a historic high, the Labor Department said in a report.

The report released on Thursday said that in the week ending July 4, the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits decreased by 99,000 from the prior week to 1,314,000, reports Xinhua news agency.

With the latest numbers, a staggering 48 million initial jobless claims have been filed over the past 15 weeks, indicating the mounting economic fallout.

The new report also showed that the four-week moving average, a method to iron out data volatility, decreased by 63,000 to reach 1.4 million.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 12.4 per cent for the week ending June 27, a decrease of 0.5 percentage points from the prior week’s revised rate, the report showed.

Claims under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, a federal program, also totalled to over 1 million, an increase of nearly 42,000 from the previous week, according to the report.

The program provides benefits to independent contractors or the self-employed, who are not eligible for regular state programs.

The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending June 20 was 32.9 million, an increase of 1.4 million from the previous week, the report showed.

Several US states have recently seen an uptick in COVID-19 cases, and some of them have paused or partially reversed reopening efforts, raising uncertainty over the prospect of economic recovery.

The US currently accounts for the world’s highest number of infections and fatalities at 3,112,252 and 133,228, respectively.