1.9 million filed jobless claims last week – first time since March number dips below 2 million

New numbers suggest worst of the labor market decline is ending

Updated: June 4, 2020 - 10:58am

Roughly 1.9 million Americans last week filed for unemployment, marking the first time since March that fewer than 2 million per week have filed for jobless benefits.

This Labor Department report, combined with a smaller-than-anticipated drop in private payrolls in May, suggests that record losses to the U.S. labor market due to the coronavirus pandemic is now ending. 

Businesses have begun their reopening efforts in most states and cities, though they are now tasked with navigating low demand as consumer confidence slowly creeps back to pre-coronavirus levels. Though those efforts, especially for small business, are being set back in some cities by the property damage connected with the George Floyd protests.

Since March, 40 million Americans have applied for unemployment benefits, and the current jobless rate is close to 30 million.

The Labor Department's May jobs report out Friday may show an unemployment rate that nears 20%. 

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