Just under 1.5 million applied for unemployment last week as the number of applicants rise for the second week in a row:
CNBC – The number of Americans who filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week totaled 1.434 million, the Labor Department reported Thursday, roughly in line with expectations, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to ravage the U.S. economy.
It was the 19th straight week in which initial claims totaled at least 1 million and the second consecutive week in which initial claims rose after declining for 15 straight weeks.
Economists polled by Dow Jones had expected claims to rise to 1.45 million for the week ending July 25.
Continuing claims — which are composed of those receiving unemployment benefits for at least two straight weeks — rose by 867,000 to 17.018 million for the week ending July 18. Data on continuing claims is delayed by one week.
“The level of claims still remaining elevated and the rise in continuing claims definitely reflects the reclosings over the past few weeks [that] we’ve seen in some states where the virus has flared up in,” said Peter Boockvar, chief investment officer at Bleakley Advisory Group. “Bumpy and uneven will be the economic recovery until we have a vaccine where most of the world is mass inoculated.”
It’s not a shock that unemployment numbers rose again since governors are both slowing and reclosing some areas of the economy.
It’s also not a shock that GDP would plummet in the second quarter, which was just announced today:
In a separate report, the government said second-quarter gross domestic product plunged a historic 32.9% on an annualized basis. Although it wasn’t as bad as the expected 34.7% decline, it was the worst drop ever, with the closest previously coming in mid-1921.
This is what happens when you shut the economy down.