İrem UZUN -TDO- Another 1.5 million U.S. workers filed for unemployment insurance last week, the U.S. Department of Labor said Thursday. Although reopening is underway throughout the country, the number of new applications for benefits fell by just 58,000. It was the 13th week in a row the figures have held above one million.
Over the past three months, more than 45 million people have filed initial unemployment claims as businesses have closed their doors and consumers have gone into lockdown. Millions are still out of work as states slowly begin to reopen. As of last week, 20.5 million people were still receiving unemployment benefits. The pace of layoffs has slowed sharply since their peak in the week ending 4 April when a stunning 6.6 million people filed claims. But they remain historically high. Before the COVID-19 downturn, the record number of claims for one week was 695,000 in October 1982.
Thursday's report also showed that in addition to the standard filings, 760,526 claims were filed under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, an increase of more than 65,000, according to unadjusted numbers. These figures aren't adjusted for seasonal variations, so the government doesn't include them in the official count.
Most analysts expect the U.S. unemployment rate to be above 9% at the end of the year - close to the high set in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, BBC reported. The head of the U.S. Central Bank this week warned of "significant uncertainty" regarding the recovery and told Congress he thought further economic relief would be necessary.