Weekly jobless claims total 1.30 million, vs 1.25 million estimate

People line up outside Kentucky Career Center prior to its opening to find assistance with their unemployment claims in Frankfort, Kentucky, U.S. June 18, 2020.

Bryan Woolston | Reuters

The number of Americans who filed for unemployment benefits rose more than expected last week as the country continues to grapple with the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Initial weekly jobless claims came in at 1.3 million for the week ending July 11, the Labor Department said Thursday. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected a print of 1.25 million. 

It was also the 16th straight week in which initial claims totaled at least 1 million. 

These staggering unemployment numbers come as the U.S. struggles to contain the coronavirus outbreak, particularly in states like Florida, California, Texas and Arizona. Nearly 3.5 million cases have been confirmed in the U.S., according to Johns Hopkins University. 

In Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott joined a growing number of governors requiring their state constituents to wear masks in public. Florida, meanwhile, is facing an ICU bed shortage and Arizona has set a record for hospital beds in use. 

Initial claims filed in Texas and Florida last week totaled more than 100,000 in each state, the Labor Department said. In California, more than 200,000 workers filed for benefits, by far the most out of any state. Over 30,000 workers in Arizona also filed initial claims. 

Companies like American Airlines are also warning employees about the potential for massive job cuts. The airline told employees it expects to be overstaffed by more than 20,000 people this fall

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