Layoffs: 1.5M workers file for unemployment amid COVID-19 even as states let businesses reopen

Paul Davidson, USA TODAY Published 8:31 a.m. ET June 18, 2020 | Updated 2:38 p.m. ET June 18, 2020CLOSE Millions of Americans have filed for unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic. This extra unemployment benefit will end July 31. WochitFor the first time in nearly three months, a closely watched gauge of layoffs barely declined…

Layoffs: 1.5M workers file for unemployment amid COVID-19 even as states let businesses reopen

Paul Davidson, USA TODAY
Published 8:31 a.m. ET June 18, 2020 | Updated 2:38 p.m. ET June 18, 2020CLOSE

Millions of Americans have filed for unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic. This extra unemployment benefit will end July 31.

WochitFor the first time in nearly three months, a closely watched gauge of layoffs barely declined last week, raising concerns about how swiftly the labor market will improve amid the coronavirus pandemic even as many states reopen their economies.About 1.5 million workers filed applications for unemployment insurance for the first time last week, the Labor Department said Thursday. That pushes the running tally of those who have made initial claims over the past 13 weeks to a mind-boggling 45.7 million. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had estimated that 1.3 million people filed initial claims last week.The count of 1.5 million is down from 1.57 million the prior week and marks the 11th straight weekly decline since first-time claims peaked at 6.9 million at the end of March. Last week’s drop, however, was by far the slightest since that streak began, and first-time claims edged down by just 58,000.One explanation is that layoffs have spread from the travel, restaurant and retail industries that have been hit hardest to sectors such as administration, education, manufacturing and professional services.The weekly tallies remain far higher than the previous record of 695,000 initi
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