US initial jobless claims fall by 99,000, but labor market still struggling


US initial jobless claims fell by 99,000 in the week ended July 4 from the previous week to a total of approximately 1.3 million, according to seasonally adjusted numbers released today by the US Department of Labor. In addition, the previous week’s level was revised downward by 14,000.

The four-week moving average of claims fell by 63,000 from the previous week’s revised average to approximately 1.4 million; the previous average was revised downward by 3,500.

In addition to the standard filings, more than 1 million initial claims were filed under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, an increase of 42,063 from the prior week, according to unadjusted numbers.

Business Insider reported initial claims were lower than the consensus economist estimate of 1.38 million, according to Bloomberg data. Although weekly claims have now consistently declined for 14 consecutive weeks, the latest figure is still roughly double the 665,000 filed during the Great Recession’s worst week.

“The consistently elevated UI claims show a labor market struggling to maintain its recovery as coronavirus cases soar in parts of the US,” said Daniel Zhao, senior economist at Glassdoor. “Initial claims are stalled out at a new normal of over a million new claims every week.”