U.S. Jobless Claims Projected to Resume Decline

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Worker filings for jobless benefits are projected to have resumed a decline last week after stalling out in mid-June.

Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal estimate that new jobless claims for the week ended June 26 decreased to a seasonally adjusted 390,000 from 411,000 the prior week. The four-week moving average, which smooths out volatility in the weekly figures, was slightly above its pandemic low at 397,750 last week.

Jobless claims, a proxy for layoffs, are down by more than 40% since the first week of April, but remain about double pre-pandemic levels.

“The big picture is that they are in decline for the long term,” said AnnElizabeth Konkel, an economist at job-search site Indeed, referring to new claims totals.

“When you step back and look at the full graph from when the pandemic started in March 2020, there are sometimes week-to-week differences, but it’s the same broad trend,” Ms. Konkel said.

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