In yet another sign that the economic recovery is teetering in a resurgence of coronavirus cases, the number of Americans filing first-time unemployment claims rose for the second week in a row.
About 1.4 million people filed for initial jobless claims last week, up 12,000 from the prior week's revised level, which was the first increase in 16 weeks.
On an unadjusted basis, 1.2 million people filed first-time claims, down 171,000 from the week before. The seasonal adjustments are traditionally used to smooth out the data, but that has tended to have opposite effect during the pandemic.
Continued claims, which count workers who have filed for at least two weeks in a row, stood at 17 million for the week ending July 18, up 867,000 from the prior week's revised level.
These seasonally adjusted claims peaked in May at nearly 25 million.