US unemployment dips from last week, but joblessness remains high

A high number of Americans continue to seek jobless benefits, but the number of those claims dipped slightly from last week  as states have started to reopen their economies, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The number of workers seeking unemployment benefits each week continues to surpass 1.5 million. In the week ended June 13, 1.51 million Americans filed initial unemployment claims, according to seasonally adjusted data released June 18 by the U.S. Labor Department.

That count represents a decrease of 58,000 claims from the previous week's revised level of 1.57 million. It is also the lowest since Americans filed 6.9 million new jobless claims in late March, the month the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Still, the latest weekly initial claims count is significantly above the  previous record week of 695,000 in October 1982, according to The Journal.

The number of continuing claims — which count Americans receiving ongoing unemployment benefits — was 20.5 million in the week ended June 18, according to the Labor Department. That compares to nearly 25 million in early May. According to The Journal, Labor Department records show the most Americans receiving unemployment benefits in a single week before this year was 6.6 million in 2009.

Read the full Journal report here.


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