Key Highlights

  • Week ending July 11, 1.3M new claims for state unemployment benefits filed, according to Department of Labor
  • Slight drop from July 4 when 1.31M new claims filed
  • New claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance fell to 928,000 from just over 1M week before

Effectively, the same number of new state unemployment benefits claim were filed the week ending July 11, 1.3M new claims, as the week before, 1.31M, reported the Department of Labor. New claims by laid off freelancers, self-employed, and independent contractors for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance came in at 928,000 the week ending July 11 compared to the just over 1M claims the week ending July 4.

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Some of the hardest hit states by the COVID-19 resurgence,
Florida, Georgia, California and Washington state, saw new claims nearly double and/or hit record jumps of new unemployment claims. Texas was the only outlier that did not see an uptick in claims during the week ending July 11.

(Note that the highest weekly figure for new unemployment benefits claims in the aftermath of the financial crisis in early 2009 was 665,000.)

Ian Shepherdson of Pantheon Macroeconomics, told The New York Times, that such persistently high levels of new unemployment claims tells us “it’s going to be a much more gradual recovery than we wee all expecting.”

Many unemployed workers and economists alike were hoping that most job losses would be short-lived and temporary. In some cases this has been true as of the 17% who did lose their jobs at some point, 40% had returned to work by the week ending July 11.

However, of those workers who continue to be out of work, only 22% are hoping/expecting to return to their old jobs within the next month and less than half of those workers expect to never return to those jobs.

Take a look:

Among those who have lost jobs during the pandemic…

  • 40.3% already back at work
  • 12.8% expect to return to old job soon
  • 15.9% expect to return “eventually”
  • 28.5% expect to NEVER return

Ben Casselman, writing for The New York Times, said that such data may “suggest” that millions of jobs may be gone forever. If that suggestion is accurate (it may be as large corporations have recently announced an eminent wave of layoffs), “it would be a gloomy indicator for the economy, because it takes much longer to create new jobs than to recall workers from furlough.”

Thanks to The New York Times and the Department of Labor.


Also read: New Unemployment Claims Below 2M for First Time in 11 Weeks, “Scattershot Re-openings” Still Leading to 2.9M More Layoffs, Outlook 2: Relief Programs, Unemployment Stats, Brokerage Changes

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