Fed: Another 1.5 Million First-Time Weekly Jobless Claims Filed; Continuing Claims Drop

The Labor Department June 18 disclosed that another 1.5 million people filed for first-time unemployment benefits for the week ended June 13. That was 58,000 fewer claims filed than in the previous week period. More than 45.7 million have filed for unemployment over the past 13 weeks. The unemployment rate was 14.1% for the week ending June 6 — unchanged from the previous period.

The relative good news is that continued unemployment claims dropped by 62,000 to 20.5 million — suggesting the economy is slowly re-opening following prolonged shutdowns due to COVID-19. Yet, to some observers, the trend is still troubling.

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“For an economy that is reopening, that is [still] a huge number,” Steven Blitz, chief U.S. economist at TS Lombard, told Reuters. “The economy is losing workers and employment beyond the initial impact tied to businesses that shut down.”

For the entertainment sector, studios remain largely operating remotely, with some studio executives participating in virtual investor events from their homes. Los Angeles County earlier this month gave the greenlight to re-new production of movies and TV shows. Georgia, which was the first state in the country to re-open movie theaters and allow content production, will see operations begin in earnest next month in Atlanta.

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