Another 1.5 million Americans filed for unemployment last week, raising the total number of claims to 45.7 million since coronavirus lockdowns began, new data reveal.
Recent numbers from the U.S. Department of Labor demonstrate a slow albeit unstable recovery in the job market.
"[The Labor Department's] report confirms that labor market problems have shifted away from mass closings and layoffs in immediate response to shutdown orders, and toward still-catastrophic numbers of new layoffs related to the long-term, reverberating effects of a recession," unemployment insurance expert Andrew Stettner said.
Although initial jobless claims fell for the 11th straight week as more states lifted coronavirus restrictions, last week's total still doubled the Great Recession's peak of 665,000.
Glassdoor senior economist Daniel Zhao said he believes economic recovery will have a difficult time "staying the course."
"The labor market's path to recovery is littered with obstacles that could smother the rebound, from the expiration of federal support for businesses and workers to depressed consumer demand to the resurgence in COVID-19 cases," Zhao said.
Despite the return of several jobs as states begin to reopen, the Federal Reserve still predicts that the unemployment rate will rest at 9.3% by the end of 2020.