Jobless claims are down but SD unemployment hits 10 percent

Jobless claims: Another 2.4 million Americans expected to have filed for unemployment benefits

In total, 38.6 million people have filed for initial unemployment aid since mid-March, when lockdowns began in full force across the country.

More than 138,000 ME residents have filed a claim for unemployment benefits since the coronavirus pandemic hit the state's economy with full force in March.

The department reported that 51,108 people filed for unemployment benefits.

According to data released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Labor, an additional 2.44 million workers filed for benefits in the week ending May 16.

While the region's economic activity over the past week has increased with southwestern Pennsylvania moving from red to yellow in the governor's three-phased plan to return to normal, Briem said he was not sure how many workers are going from collecting unemployment benefits to getting paychecks.

An official with the northeastern state said in an email that it had 115,952 initial claims last week under the separate federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, not the 1,184,792 shown in the U.S. Labor Department's report. Previously, it only reported federally mandated unemployment claims data, an imperfect gauge for the number of people who have lost their jobs because thousands of reported claims are duplicates.

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Although the number is staggering, weekly claims have been gradually declining since hitting a record 6.9 million in the last week of March.

While that's a positive development, openings are gradual and far short of need. "If that happens, the jobless rate is likely to remain above 10% through the end of the year and hinder a recovery".

The enormous influx of claims has overwhelmed state unemployment offices.

The number of regular initial claims fell again week-over-week - down from 22,483 for the week ending May 9.

California again led all states in the number of new claims filed last week, with 246,115. Some economists are looking to the raw numbers for a more accurate read on benefit filings amid challenges with the seasonal adjustment process.

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