Initial unemployment claims in California jumped last week and are now well above normal levels, fueling uncertainty over how the statewide economy has recovered from the distortions linked to the coronavirus.
The US Department of Labor reported Thursday that California workers filed nearly 68,100 jobless claims during the week ending August 14, 2,600 more than 65,500 claims filed during the seven days ended August 7.
Unemployment claims across the state have now risen for a period of four consecutive weeks and are at their highest level in three months.
In contrast to California’s dreary pattern of jobless claims, unemployment filings in the United States fell again and are at their lowest level since the start of a government-ordered business lockdown to help combat the spread of the coronavirus.
US workers filed 348,000 initial unemployment claims for the week ending August 14, a decrease of 29,000 from the previous week.
The jobless filing that California posted last week is 52% higher than the last time the statewide economy was deemed healthy.
During January 2020 and February 2020, the last two months before the start of shutdowns to fight the deadly bug, unemployment claims in California averaged 44,800 per week, an analysis of filings by this news organization showed.