Although slightly down from the previous week, the number of Americans who filed for unemployment benefits for the first time came in above 1 million for the 22nd time in 23 weeks as the economy struggles to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, the Labor Department said Thursday.
“Continuing claims continue to drop, but still indicate a highly stressed labor market,” said Jamie Cox, managing partner at Harris Financial Group in Virginia. “Even a 1 million person drop in the total number unemployed isn’t enough — there is a lot of work to be done because 14 million people are still receiving UI assistance of some kind.”
The highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending August 8 were in Hawaii (19.8), Puerto Rico (19.2), Nevada (17.3), California (16.1), New York (15.4), Connecticut (13.6), Louisiana (13.5), the Virgin Islands (12.8), Georgia (12.6), and Massachusetts (12.2).
The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending August 15 were in New Jersey (+11,580), Florida (+11,190), New York (+9,879), Texas (+9,096), and Tennessee (+3,793), while the largest decreases were in California (-12,155), Nevada (-6,817), Georgia (-4,236), Puerto Rico (-2,864), and Pennsylvania (-1,510).