August 13, 2020
U.S. unemployment claims declined to 963,000 last week, marking the first time applications for initial jobless benefits dipped below the one million level since the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in March, the Labor Department reported Thursday. California recorded the largest drop in new claims for the week ending August 1, when the Golden State experienced a decrease of -22,610.
Claims filings declined nationally for the second straight week, from 1.2 million the previous week. Worker applications for jobless aid have significantly dropped from March’s peak of nearly seven million.
Overall, fewer people are collecting unemployment, a sign that some employers are hiring and causing economists to interpret the improvement to mean the labor-market recovery is continuing to advance. The total declined last week to 15.5 million, from 16.1 million the previous week.
The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 10.6% for the week ending August 1, a decrease of 0.4 percentage point from the previous week’s unrevised rate.
The highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending July 25 were in Nevada (23.6), Hawaii (21.1), Puerto Rico (19.1), Louisiana (17.3), New York (16.5), California (16.0), Connecticut (15.3), Georgia (14.4), Massachusetts (14.3), and Rhode Island (12.7).
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