Last week, 1.87 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits, bringing the total number of claims from the past eleven weeks to 42.6 million. The US Department of Labor announced this on Thursday.
The number amounts to over a quarter of the US workforce. Although the number of new applications per week shows a downward trend, the number of 1.87 million last week was higher than expected.
The number of so-called continuous applications, that is, of people who submitted an application for at least two weeks in a row, was even on the rise with a total of 21.5 million.
As a result, the recovery of the US economy may be slower than the falling weekly number of applications suggests.