US weekly jobless claims hit 3.84 million, topping 30 million over the last 6 weeks

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First-time filings for unemployment insurance hit 3.84 million last week as the wave of economic pain continues, though the worst appears to be in the past, according to Labor Department figures Thursday.

Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been looking for 3.5 million.

Jobless claims for the week ended April 25 came in at the lowest level since March 21 but bring the rolling six-week total to 30.3 million as part of the worst employment crisis in U.S. history. Claims hit a record 6.87 million for the week of March 28 and have declined each week since then.

Last week’s initially reported figure was revised up by 15,000 to 4.4 million, meaning that the most recent total is a decrease of 603,000.

The four-week moving average, which smooths volatility, jumped to 13.3 million, an increase of 3.7 million from the previous week’s average.

The surge in unemployment has come amid efforts to contain the coronavirus spread. While some states and municipalities have begun bringing their respective economies back online, much of the key U.S. infrastructure remains on lockdown.

Filings continue at a high pace as the government has expanded the list of those eligible for benefits and amid continued difficulties at state offices for claims filers. The Economic Policy Institute earlier this week estimated that the current claims level probably undercounts by as much as 12 million those who are eligible for benefits but not getting them due to the inability to file or other roadblocks. – READ MORE

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