Over 1.87M Americans filed for unemployment last week as states ease coronavirus restrictions

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (FOX News): Another 1.87 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, but with all 50 states gradually reopening their economies, the job losses triggered by the coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing lockdown are beginning to slow.

Economists surveyed by Refinitiv forecast 1.8 million.

The weekly jobless claims report from the Labor Department, which covers the week ended May 30, pushes the 11-week total of losses since states directed residents to stay at home and forced nonessential businesses to roughly 42 million, a rate of unemployment unseen since the Great Depression.

Still, the report suggests the worst is over for the labor market: It marks the ninth straight weekly decline of Americans seeking jobless benefits since claims peaked at the end of March.

But even as the labor market starts to recover from the virus outbreak, the data indicates that some jobs may be stubbornly slow to return. Continuing claims, the number of people receiving benefits after an initial week of aid, saw a gain of 649,000 over the past week, totaling 21.5 million.

The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending May 23 was 21,487,000, an increase of 649,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised down by 214,000 from 21,052,000 to 20,838,000.

It precedes the government’s more closely watched employment report for May, which is scheduled for release Friday at 8:30 a.m. ET. Refinitiv economists expect it to show the economy shed 8 million jobs last month and unemployment surged to 19.8 percent, a post-World War II record.

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