By Dan McCaleb | The Center Square
More than 1.4 million American workers filed new unemployment claims last week, an increase of more than 100,000 claims from the week prior.
It’s the first time new claims have increased week over week since late March, the height of the government restrictions on businesses deemed nonessential to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
Wth an increased number of new coronavirus cases across the country, particularly the Sourth and West, many states have scaled back reopening efforts.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 1,416,000 new unemployment claims were filed the week ending July 18. That’s 109,000 more new claims than the week of July 11.
“The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment ratewas 11.1 percent for the week ending July 11, a decrease of 0.7 percentage point from the previous week’s revised rate,” the department said.
Continuing claims, which count those who have applied for unemployment benefits for at least two consecutive weeks, dropped to 16.2 million, down by 1.1 million from the prior week.
California once again led all states in new claim filings last week with 292,673.
“The reopening across the country has been very bumpy,” Michelle Holder, an economist at John Jay College in New York, told The wall Street Journal before Thursday’s numbers were released. “I think unemployment applications are going to be sticky at this level because many states are seeing a reassertion of the virus.”