The rise in new jobless claims — which had been trickling down for weeks — highlights the ongoing anguish of the labor market as the coronavirus pandemic-induced financial crisis wages on.
“Initial claims rebounded above the 1 million threshold, taking a step backward on the path to recovery,” Glassdoor’s senior economist Daniel Zhao said in a commentary Thursday morning. “The modest jump is a stark reminder that claims will likely encounter some turbulence as they fall rather than gliding in for a soft landing.”
The latest uptick in jobless claims also comes as the extra $600 a week in pandemic unemployment aid has expired, and Congress has been unable to agree on a new aid package for those pushed out of work by the crisis.
“It’s been four weeks without the $600/week CARES Act benefits for tens of millions of unemployed Americans,” Zhao said. “While a handful of states are approved to disburse the new $300/week benefits, it remains unclear how quickly the benefits will be able to flow to unemployed Americans already facing an unsteady recovery.”
Prior to the pandemic, the previous record for weekly unemployment filings was 695,000 in 1982. In the last week of March, that was smashed by nearly tenfold as 6.9 million Americans filed for unemployment insurance in a single week.
Meanwhile, roughly 1 in 10 workers can’t find a job, the DOL said in its most recent jobs report.