Weekly jobless claims rise 2.981 million, vs 2.7 million expected

Filings for unemployment claims rose by just shy of 3 million for the most recent reporting period, a number that while still high declined for the sixth straight week, according to Labor Department figures Thursday.

The total 2.981 million new claims for unemployment insurance brought the coronavirus crisis total to nearly 36.5 million, by far the biggest loss in U.S. history. Last week’s count was revised up by 7,000 to 3.176 million.

Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been expecting 2.7 million new claims.

While the numbers have been declining since the March 28 peak, joblessness remains pervasive through the U.S. even as states continue to come back online slowly following the economic shutdown.

The Labor Department reported a loss of 20.5 million jobs in April that brought the unemployment rate to 14.7%, both post-World War II highs.

According to the latest figures, those displaced are still not being brought back to work under a freeze that was supposed to last weeks but now has extended for nearly two months. Continuing claims rose by 456,000 to 22.83 million, after the previous week’s total was revised down to 22.38 million.

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