The number of Americans filing for unemployment barely declined last week, signaling challenges to the economic recovery are multiplying.
U.S. stocks fell on Thursday, while 10-year Treasury yields remained lower after the report.
The figures add to signs that the labor-market recovery is stalling as coronavirus cases surge and reopenings pause or reverse across the country. Conditions are at risk of worsening with the
The claims numbers took some of the steam out of a separate report showing retail sales rose in June by more than forecast and reached pre-pandemic levels, underlining the importance of the federal stimulus set to run out this month. Jobless filings exceeded 1 million for a 17th straight week, compared with an average of just above 210,000 before the pandemic.
“The jobless claims data suggests that further gains from here will be much harder to achieve,” said
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“Jobless claims remained elevated as soaring virus cases pose a significant threat to the labor market recovery... The robust increase in retail sales in June, fueled by broad-based removal of lockdowns and following a sharp bounce in May, is a positive, yet likely temporary development.”
Without seasonal adjustments,
So far, 22 states have either reversed or paused reopenings, according to Bank of America Corp. economists, with
The weak outlooks were reflected in
Still, there was other positive news on the economy Thursday. A measure of
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Federal Reserve policy makers have sounded more cautious this week. Philadelphia Fed President
The latest claims numbers are “disappointing to say the least,” said
In the week ended July 11, states reported 928,488 initial claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, the federal program that extends unemployment benefits to those not typically eligible like the self-employed. That’s down from 1.05 million the prior week.
The total number of unadjusted continuing claims in all programs fell by about 430,000 to 32 million in the week ended June 27, though this figure likely reflects an overcount of reported PUA continued claims -- in some cases reflecting the number of retroactive weeks claimed rather than individual people.
(Adds comments from Bloomberg Economics, economist; updates markets.)
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