California workers filed more unemployment claims last week than they did last week, a blow that puts them far above normal ahead of the start of a government-ordered business shutdown to combat the coronavirus.
Jobless claims in California have remained high despite reopening the economy statewide a month ago, ever since government officials trumpeted.
The US Labor Department reported Thursday that workers filed 58,259 claims during the week ended July 17, an increase of 1,334 from 56,925 claims filed in the week ended July 10.
Across the country, unemployment claims rose sharply, taking the total to 419,000 for the week ended July 17. This was an increase of 51,000 from 368,000 claims filed during the week ending July 10.
In California, the latest claims total more than 30% of what the state was typical of before the start of a business lockdown to quell the spread of the coronavirus.
According to this news organization’s analysis of data supplied by the Department of Labor and State Employment Development, during January 2020 and February 2020, unemployment claims averaged 44,800 per week.
The last time unemployment claims in California were below 50,000 was the week ending March 7, 2020 – just before the business was closed.