US June unemployment falls to 11.1pc

Business | 2 Jul 2020 10:33 pm

U.S. unemployment fell to 11.1 percent in June as the economy added a solid 4.8 million jobs, the government reported Thursday. But the job-market recovery may already be faltering because of a new round of closings and layoffs triggered by a resurgence of the coronavirus.

While the jobless rate was down from 13.3 percent in May, it is still at a Depression-era level. And the data was gathered during the second week of June, before a number of states began to reverse or suspend the reopenings of their economies to try to beat back the virus.

“This is a bit of a dated snapshot at this point,” said Jesse Edgerton, an economist at J.P. Morgan Chase.

While the job market improved for a second straight month, the Labor Department report showed that the U.S. remains far short of regaining the colossal losses it suffered this spring. It has recouped roughly one-third of the 22 million jobs lost.

The re-closings are keeping layoffs elevated: The number of Americans who sought unemployment benefits fell only slightly last week to 1.47 million, according to a separate report. Though the weekly figure has declined steadily since peaking in March, it is still extraordinarily high by historic standards.

And the total number of people who are drawing jobless benefits remains at a sizable 19 million.

The number of laid-off workers seeking jobless benefits rose last week in Texas, Arizona and Tennessee. Though the figure fell in California, it remained near 280,000. That’s more people than were seeking unemployment benefits in the entire country before the outbreak took hold in March.-AP




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