The new U.S. unemployment benefit claims dropped to 1.3 million last week. However, the claims are still almost double the previous record set before the COVID-19 pandemic. On Thursday, the U.S. Labor Department released its weekly unemployment report. The reports find that 1.3 million unemployed U.S. workers filed for benefits last week.
The numbers were down almost 100,000 from the 1.4 million who filed the claims the week before. That’s the lowest one-week number since a record 3.3 million filed in mid-March. However, it was almost double the pre Pandemic record of 695,000 in a week set during the 1982 recession.
In the last full week of March, the numbers peaked at 6.9 million claims. According to Labor Department, in Illinois, new claims dropped to 38,897 last week, down from 45,752 the week before. But under the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, the so-called gig workers, independent contractors, and freelancers expanded the claims rising it for the second straight week, to 42,785 from 32,587.
For June, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics had set the national unemployment rate at 11.1 percent. The Labor Department reported on Thursday, “the advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 12.4 percent for the week ending June 27, a decrease of 0.5 percentage point from the previous week’s revised rate. The previous week’s rate was revised down by 0.3 from 13.2 to 12.9 percent.”
The Department also said, “The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending June 20 was 32,922,335, an increase of 1,410,788 from the previous week.” The claims were nowhere the 1.6 million claiming benefits in all programs for the same week in 2019.