More than 1.5 million additional laid off U.S. workers have filed for unemployment, according to the Department of Labor’s June jobs report.
The additional 1.5 million puts the total number of Americans to file for first-time unemployment aid over the past 12 weeks at 44.2 million, according to CNN. While new unemployment claims continue to come in, the rate of new claims has trended down since its peak in March.
BREAKING: 1.5 million laid-off workers seek U.S. jobless aid, a 10th straight weekly decline, as more businesses reopen. https://t.co/m069VlptyL
— The Associated Press (@AP) June 11, 2020
The June numbers come after an unexpectedly positive May report, in which the U.S. economy gained 2.5 million non-farm jobs, decreasing unemployment to 13.3 percent.
Projections for the May report had been grim, with many expecting the economy to continue shedding jobs by the millions and adding more Americans to the unemployment rolls.
“The forthcoming May jobs report will amount to a shocking sequel to the April horror story,” senior economic analyst for Bankrate Mark Hamrick told Politico at the time. “It is likely to add further economic insult to the injury already established with the jobless rate. . . Millions more are expected to fall off of payrolls.
Republicans and Democrats in Congress are considering additional direct relief payments for Americans after sending out millions of $1,200 checks this spring. Negotiations for the potential relief are in early stages, however.
Most states have begun the process of reopening their economies in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. President Donald Trump’s administration has suggested a phased reopening in which businesses reopen slowly and with an emphasis on social distancing guidelines.
Many cities and states have reopened restaurants, gyms, and entertainment centers to a limited capacity in recent weeks, breathing much-needed life back into industries the pandemic hit hardest.