Breaking: 1.48 million jobless claims last week, worse than predictions

Around 1.48 million people filed for initial unemployment benefits last week, the 14th consecutive week where states have processed over a million first-time applications — and a larger weekly figure than economist predictions of 1.35 million.

While the figures for the week ending June 20 are a far cry from the peak of 6.6 million in March, it is still an astonishing number, and a continuation of the grim ritual that has happened at 8:30 a.m. every Thursday since the pandemic hit, when the U.S. Department of Labor announces how many claims have been made for unemployment insurance.

The U.S. economy is showing some signs of improvement — in housing and online retail sales, for instance, but the labor market is still in rough shape.