US jobless claims for the week ending May 16 totaled 2.4 million, the Labor Department said Thursday. That matched the median economist estimate of 2.4 million claims. That raises the nine-week total to nearly 39 million. It's the seventh week in a row in which claims have declined but remained historically elevated. "Each week of such high claims is a disaster in its own right," said Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
The number of Americans who have filed for unemployment insurance during the coronavirus pandemic has continued to grow. US jobless claims totaled 2.4 million last week, the Labor Department said Thursday. That matched the median economist estimate of 2.4 million claims for the seven days that ended Saturday. The figure raises the nine-week total to nearly 39 million. That's more than the roughly 37 million people that filed unemployment insurance claims during the entire Great Recession, which lasted for a year and a half. "Each week of such high claims is a disaster in its own right," said Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, in a Thursday note. Still, unemployment filings fell from the prior week, which saw nearly 3 million jobless claims. The number of new filings has now declined for seven straight weeks. Read more: RBC pinpoints 11 stocks loved by hedge funds that have beaten the market during both the coronavirus collapse and its subsequent recovery The weekly report is a crucial indicator of the US labor market, a key segment of the economy that's taken a hit amid the coronavirus pandemic. In April, the US economy lost a record 20.5 million jobs and saw the unemployment rate triple to 14.7% as business was halted and consumers were told to shelter in place to contain Covid-19. While declining weekly jobless claims is a step in the right direction, economists are beginning to worry that the rate isn't falling fast enough, especially as states begin to reopen. At this pace, claims are unlikely to dip below 1 million per week until August, according to Shepherdson. That contrasts with prior economist expectations that saw claims falling below the 1 million level in June or July. For context, even 1 million claims in one week is significantly more than the worst seven-day stretch of the great recession, when about 665,000 people filed for unemployment insurance. Peak unemployment The jobs reports for May and June are expected to show even further damage. While job losses may not be as severe, there are a slew of dismal forecasts for the peak unemployment rate, which could come in either the May or June nonfarm payrolls reports. Read more: A value-investing expert explains why beaten-down stocks are the most appealing since the dot-com bubble — and shares 3 stocks he bought as the coronavirus crash created 'rare' opportunities This is because the biggest hit to US gross domestic product is expected in the second quarter, which includes the months of April through June. JPMorgan forecasts a 40% GDP slump and a 20% unemployment rate, roughly inline with other estimates from large banks and the Congressional Budget Office. But other estimates show more damage — The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in March projected that job losses would reach 47 million in the second quarter and lead to an unemployment rate of 32%. The peak unemployment number in part depends on how the Bureau of Labor Statistics counts workers in the report. In April, the BLS again noted that many of the people marked employed but not at work for other reasons probably should've been counted as unemployed on temporary layoff — a change that would've increased the unemployment rate roughly 5 percentage points. Read more: John Fedro quit his job and got involved in real estate with barely any money. He breaks down his low-cost approach to mobile-home investing, which allows him to live comfortably on passive income. There was also a huge drop in labor force participation in the April report which lowered the headline unemployment print. To be considered in the labor force, unemployed workers must be actively job searching, which many put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic as businesses are closed, some people are still sheltering at home, and unemployment benefits have been expanded. "Clearly there is much greater weakness in the labor market than the current reported unemployment rate of 14.7% suggests," wrote Michelle Meyer, US economist at Bank of America, in a Wednesday note. There have also yet to be strong rebounds in hiring that would calm the labor market and lead to a falling unemployment rate. "As such, the unemployment rate will likely remain elevated for a prolonged period—we forecast it to reach roughly 10% by year-end and 8% by the end of 2021," Meyer said. Read more: The investment chief of a $12 billion wealth-management firm breaks down how to build the perfect portfolio using just 7 ETFs — one designed to sidestep a dramatically 'overvalued' stock marketJoin the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Why Pikes Peak is the most dangerous racetrack in America
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US equities rose on Thursday after June's jobs report trounced estimates and lifted hopes for a...US equities rose on Thursday after June's jobs report trounced estimates and lifted hopes for a swift economic recovery. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite closed at a record high. American businesses added 4.8 million payrolls last month, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, handily beating expectations of a 3 million increase. The unemployment rate fell to 11.1%, below the anticipated reading of 12.5%. Tesla surged to a record high after it said it delivered more vehicles than expected in the second quarter. Oil prices climbed, with West Texas Intermediate crude gaining as much as 2.3%, to $40.74 per barrel. Watch major indexes update live here. US stocks gained on Thursday after June jobs data beat expectations and further fueled hopes for a near-term economic rebound. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite closed at a record high. The economy added 4.8 million nonfarm payrolls last month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced on Thursday morning. That exceeded the consensus economist forecast of 3 million job additions. The unemployment rate fell to 11.1% — lower than economists' forecast of 12.5% — from 13.3% in May. Here's where US indexes stood at the 4 p.m. ET market close on Thursday: S&P 500: 3,130.02, up 0.5% Dow Jones industrial average: 25,827.42, up 0.4% (92 points) Nasdaq composite: 10,207.63, up 0.5% Read more: The most accurate tech analyst on Wall Street says these 6 stocks have potential for huge gains as they transform the sector The jobs report revealed healthy hiring activity during economic-reopening efforts. However, its data doesn't cover recent weeks when coronavirus cases have soared in several states. The surge has some experts fearing a second bout of economic pain. "High-frequency data suggests that the labor market strength had started to wane later in the month, perhaps as households and businesses grew increasingly cautious about the rise in infection rates," said Seema Shah, the chief strategist at Principal Global Investors. She added: "Indeed, now, with the closings having been reversed or paused across 40% of the US, July's job report may paint a much weaker story." Indexes trimmed gains through the morning and largely traded flat in the afternoon following the positive data. Read more: A 22-year market vet explains why stocks are headed for a 'massive reset' as the economy struggles to recover from COVID-19 — and outlines why that will put mega-cap tech companies in serious danger Jobless claims fell to 1.43 million in the week that ended on Saturday, a slight decline from 1.48 million the prior week. Continuing claims, which track ongoing unemployment benefits, came in at 19.3 million for the week that ended on June 20. Tesla stock skyrocketed to a record high after it reported second-quarter deliveries that came in above estimates. The automaker said it delivered roughly 90,650 vehicles in the period, while analysts surveyed by FactSet had expected 72,000 deliveries, according to CNBC. Lemonade, a tech-driven insurance company, spiked as much as 132% in its trading debut on Thursday. The SoftBank-backed firm raised $319 million in the initial public offering, bringing its total valuation to $1.6 billion. Boeing helped lift the Dow before paring gains later in the session. Shares bounced after the company completed recertification flights of its troubled 737 Max model. Read more: GOLDMAN SACHS: Buy these 15 super-cheap stocks now before their prices catch up to their strong growth and earnings prospects Oil prices climbed. West Texas Intermediate crude climbed as much as 2.3%, to $40.74 per barrel. Brent crude, the international benchmark, gained 2.9%, to $43.23 per barrel, at intraday highs. Thursday's upswing followed a mixed session for equities. Stocks whipsawed on Wednesday as investors mulled positive COVID-19 vaccine trial results from Pfizer and soaring case counts across the US. June payroll data from ADP came in lower than hoped for, and some feared that Thursday's jobs report would disappoint. Now read more markets coverage from Markets Insider and Business Insider: Trump's favorite trade scorecard worsened in May as exports hit lowest level since 2009 Failure to slow the spread of COVID-19 could spark a full-blown financial crisis, Fed president says Fed officials pushed for clearer guidance on future policy, meeting minutes showJoin the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Pathologists debunk 13 coronavirus myths
As coronavirus hot spots flare across the U.S., adding to economic worries, new jobless claims surpassed...As coronavirus hot spots flare across the U.S., adding to economic worries, new jobless claims surpassed one million for the 14th week.
With new state unemployment claims topping one million for the 13th week, the coronavirus crisis seems...With new state unemployment claims topping one million for the 13th week, the coronavirus crisis seems to be reaching deeper into the labor market.