The economy is slowly re-opening, but the number of people filing first-time unemployment claims continues to jolt feel-good optimism. In the week ended June 20, 1.48 million people filed claims, a decrease of 60,000 from the previous week’s revised 1.508 million, according to the Labor Department.
California continues to lead all states with more than 1 million claims filed. The total number of people receiving unemployment insurance dropped below 20 million.
The four-week moving average declined to 1.62 million, a decrease of 160,750 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 8,000 from 1.773 million to 1.781 million. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 13.4% for the week ending June 13.
“Initial and continuing claims point to gradual improvement in the labor market. Falling initial claims signal that the pace of layoffs is slowing, but it still extremely high,” Gus Faucher, chief economist at PNC Financial, told CNBC.