U.S. unemployment claims drop sharply as country reopens

First-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits totaled 2.1 million last week, the lowest total since the COVID-19 coronavirus shutdown began. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been looking for 2.05 million. The total represented a decrease of 323,000 from the previous week’s 2.438 million.

Continuing claims, or those who have been collecting for at least two weeks, numbered 21.05 million, a sharp drop, falling 3.86 million from the previous week.

U.S. unemployment. Mac Pro is designed and engineered in California, and assembled in Austin, Texas, in a facility that employs more than 500 people.
Mac Pro is designed and engineered in California, and assembled in Austin, Texas, in a facility that employs more than 500 people.
Jeff Cox for CNBC:

The insured unemployment rate, which is a basic calculation of those collecting benefits vs. the total labor force, came down sharply to 14.5% from 17.1% the previous week.

Since the pandemic was declared in mid-March, more than 40 million have filed claims as social distancing measures aimed at containing the coronavirus outbreak resulted in much of the $21.5 trillion U.S. economy being in lockdown since mid-March.

A separate report Thursday showed that first-quarter GDP contracted by 5%, while the Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow tracker is indicating a 41.9% plunge in Q2 that will be the worst in U.S. history. That would put the U.S. firmly in recession territory, though most economists are expecting a rebound in the second half of the year after restrictions are lifted.

Hugh Son for CNBC:

The U.S. economy is beginning to recover from shutdowns tied to the coronavirus pandemic, Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan told CNBC.

Moynihan cited consumer spending figures from the millions of households using his lender’s credit and debit cards: While transactions collapsed by about 30% in April, it was down by only 5% to 10% in May.

“You’re starting to see the economy come out of the hole,” Moynihan told CNBC’s Becky Quick on Squawk Box. ”You’re seeing us come out of the depths of where we were in April, and that’s good news.”

“The real difference is the amount of stimulus that has gone into the economy,” Moynihan said.

Checking accounts below $5,000 in average balances actually had 30% to 40% more money in them compared with 12 weeks ago, he said.

MacDailyNews Take: It’s certainly great to see U.S. unemployment claims dropping! Hopefully, the stimulus has primed the pump, making for a strong recovery that will ease the pain caused by the coronavirus shutdown for many millions.


  1. Doc Fauci now says 2nd wave isn’t inevitable, “if” we follow what the CDC says….

    The virus may be tamed, but the effects of the govt’s financial measures,” to “protect” will truly be a kneecap in the neck that will saddle the citizens for a period that’s actually hard to measure. More “protection” will be legislated soon…ensuring wonderful posterity for you, your kids and their kids.

    Follow the orders and you will be protected.

  2. Boy, what a misleading headline from the Trump supporting MDN. The reality is that unemployment claims are now over 40 Million. Most of those who are out of work are the low hanging fruit. Unemployment claims are going to continue to rise as more people who were thought to be needed are let go as the economy continues to fall.

    Right now, unemployment is at 16%, which is much worse than the 2008 Bush recession, the worst since the Great Depression. Unemployment from this is expected to reach 25-30% at its peak, which will be as bad, or worse, than the Great Depression.

    So bad, that the Trump administration today said that they won’t be releasing any estimates for the fall economic data. Why? Because it will be so bad that Trump’s chances of re-election will be further damaged by it, and they don’t want that.

      1. You mean the hard core get-the-country-destroyed “businessmen” with a history of failed deals, bankuptcy and poor, corrupted, late-to-the-corona-party leadership.

    1. In “defense” of MDN, as if they actually need it, per the “fallacious” headline, take a look at the stock market Mel. AAPL is approx $5 from ALL-TIME highs. I for one, don’t use stock prices as a valid measure for econ health, but stock prices have some correlation to what’s happening in economically and what people think and it’s not all irrational.

      It was noted just yesterday, Apple Stores are reopening. Again, it’s not a complete yardstick, but when the largest company in the world is opening their retail locations, can we not conclude some others might be following suit and unemployment #’s are/will be decreasing?

      No, I didn’t say, nor am I saying the improving #’s mean we’re out of the mess.

      1. The stock market means nothing. Are you going to tell over 40 million people who are out of work that everything is ok because morons in investment houses care buying stock? I hope not. The investment community has never shown intelligent thinking. With minor problems causing major drops in markets, this drop should have the market tumbling.

        Just remember, the market is irrational. Cisco was about 41. It dropped to 33, I bought some. Now it’s way up again. It really makes no sense. I was buying for the long term, but now in thinking of selling. I never touch my Apple though.

  3. Let’s not forget, the company’s CEO, that this site is all about, could/wouldn’t give financial estimates for the upcoming quarter, either Yes, Trump heartily wants to be “in position” of good news to coincide for his reelection. Stating the obvious is really needed? Honestly, who “on the Hill” is giving us any true “economic data?”

    The real issue, besides the physical and economic challenges related to the virus, is our country’s love of and coexistence with debt. Trump, Obama, Bush’s, Clinton*, Reagan….they all lapped at the trough and built the house in which we now live. Each added a room to the structure and we’re now living in a house that’s seeming unsustainable. It’s valuable to know “the house” that we ‘“control” is the world…because we are the fiat currency and things aren’t good in almost every place you look. Most citizens aren’t aware of the broad reality and the ramifications likely to be felt going forward.
    (**Clinton’s feather is being associated with a balanced budget but he was instrumental in creating the China allegiance that we are now experiencing (the love of cheap goods in exchange for other real costs).

    You’ve been on a roll lately with your guile for Trump and it’s crowded out your sometimes valuable financial/stock related responses. Sorry to see you be so “owned” and myopic at the expense of nuanced info.

    1. We have never had a president like Trump. Thank heaven. His deceptions are too numerous to count. I met him a couple of time, years ago, at events. He’s hard to deal with, even for a few minutes.

      He has social policies that most of his followers refer him for. They know that once he’s gone, they won’t get another like him, so they ignore his, well, let’s just say, difficulties. This site is an obvious supporter. They go too far in that direction.

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