3.2 million Americans filed new petitions for unemployment benefits last week. More than 33 million Americans have filed new unemployment claims over the previous seven weeks.
The report showed California processed the most significant number of applications at 318,064, according to preliminary state-level estimates that have not seasonally adjusted.
The private payroll company ADP reported Wednesday that its survey indicated 20.2 million private-sector jobs were lost last month, mainly in the service-providing industries. But that number could well be too low, given that the report relies on data that runs only through April 12.
Self-employed workers who were made temporarily eligible last month for jobless benefits under the CARES Act are starting to trickle into DOL’s weekly claims count. Thirty-one states have updated their systems to begin cutting unemployment checks to those workers, according to DOL. But 21 of those states implemented the new program only in the last two weeks.
The four-week average is now just under 4.2 million, and the department said, a decrease of 861,000 from the previous week. However, hopes are growing that with a gradual reopening of the economy, furloughed workers will return to their jobs and those that lay off will find new employment.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday will release its more precise estimate of the April unemployment rate as part of its monthly jobs report. For more business news click here.