Weekly jobless claims fell to 709,000 last week — a drop of almost 50,000 from the week prior, showing signs of labor market improvement. But it’s unclear what the surge in COVID-19 cases means for that moving forward.
Weekly claims have dropped significantly from a peak of almost 7 million at the end of March. And continuing claims have also fallen consistently since the spring.
But now, that progress is in jeopardy.
On Wednesday, the U.S. set another single-day record of COVID-19 cases. In response, New York is forcing bars and restaurants to close at 10 p.m. And other cities, from Philadelphia to San Diego, are pausing reopening plans.
Experts are warning the latest surge could have an impact on the economic recovery. They also say relief from Washington would be helpful for workers and businesses but the chances of that happening soon are slim.