The Buzz | US: 1.5 million more laid-off workers seek unemployment benefits

About 1.5 million laid-off workers applied for U.S. unemployment benefits last week, a historically high number, even as the economy increasingly reopens and employers bring some people back to work.
The latest figure released yesterday marked the 11th straight weekly decline in applications since they peaked at nearly 7 million in March as the coronavirus shut down much of the economy and caused tens of millions of layoffs. The decline was much smaller, though, than in recent weeks, falling just 58,000.
The total number of people receiving unemployment aid also fell slightly, reflecting the return of many to their old jobs.
Still, analysts had expected a sharper decline in weekly applications, and some expressed disappointment that so many people are still seeking unemployment benefits even as restaurants, gyms and many categories of retail shops are reopening across the country.
The jobless claims report generally tracks the pace of layoffs. But it provides little information about how much hiring is occurring that would offset those job losses. In May, employers added 2.5 million jobs — a surprise increase that caught analysts off-guard because the number of applications for unemployment aid was still so high.

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