U.S. Unemployment Claims Rise to 640K

A new weekly report from the U.S. Department of Labor said Thursday initial claims rose to 640,000 on a seasonally adjusted basis during the week of April 18, up by 27,000 from the previous week’s revised figure when claims hit 613,000. The rise comes after last week’s unexpected plunge in initial claims that had offered some hope that perhaps the job market could start stabilizing.

Meanwhile, the tally of continuing jobless claims – those drawn by workers collecting benefits for longer than one week – surged another 93,000 to 6,137,000 from the preceding week’s revised level of 6,044,000. The total number of people drawing unemployment benefits has now surged to the highest level on record.

For the week ending April 4, the highest insured unemployment rates were in Oregon at 7.7%, followed by Michigan with 7.6%. Idaho, Wisconsin and Puerto Rico all had insured unemployment rates at around 6.7%.

The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending April 11 were in Florida (+9,303), Pennsylvania (+7,538), California (+6,404), Wisconsin (+3,611), and New York (+3,581), while the largest decreases were in Michigan (-12,566), North Carolina (-6,428), Missouri (-5,575), Kentucky (-5,313), and Oregon (-4,580), the DOL said.

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