US workers file 1.5m jobless claims, bringing coronavirus total to nearly 50m

Amount of new claims has fallen for last 12 weeks despite ongoing crisis

James Crump
Thursday 25 June 2020 16:06 BST
Donald Trump reacts to record US unemployment figures

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Louise Thomas

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A further 1.48 million Americans filed for unemployment last week, amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The figures, published by the Department of Labor, showed that the number of people to file for unemployment since the start of the pandemic, is now more than 47 million.

Despite the filings, the number of new claims fell for the 12th straight week, since the high of 6.8 million in late March.

The department also confirmed that the number of continued claims for unemployment, fell to 19.5 million, after non-essential businesses reopened in many states across the US over the last few weeks.

Unemployment figures in the US have been at an all time high for over three months now, as the country continues to tackle the effects of the pandemic.

The 1.48 million additional claims comes amid coronavirus cases rising across the US, and low demand causing businesses to lay off staff, according to Reuters.

Gus Faucher, chief economist at PNC Financial in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, told the news agency: “There were some businesses that tried to maintain their workforce, waiting to see what would happen as businesses reopened.”

He added: “Even as the economy is picking up they are not seeing a lot of demand and are deciding that they don’t need that many workers.”

Positive cases have risen in numerous states across the US, since lockdown measures were eased, and Florida, Texas and California have recently announced record daily highs.

In reaction to the increase in cases, New Jersey, New York and Connecticut have asked people travelling from eight states where infections are rising, including North Carolina and Alabama, to self-isolate for 14 days.

According to a tracking project hosted by Johns Hopkins University, there are now more than 2.3 million people who have tested positive for coronavirus in the US. The death toll has reached at least 121,979.

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