New unemployment claims are trending back upwards for the second consecutive month, after months of steady declines from their April highs. There were 885,000 new claims last week on a seasonally-adjusted level, according to data released by the U.S. Department of Labor, up from 853,000 the week prior.
On a non-seasonally adjusted level, the number of claims actually fell slightly by 21,000 to 935,000, but that is still far ahead of where claims were in the fall.
Daniel Zhao, the chief economist at Glassdoor, said on Twitter that the number of individuals filing new unemployment claims is “more and more evidence of a backsliding recovery as pandemic surges & employers lay off/furlough workers.”
The rise in unemployment comes at a time when lawmakers are still discussing a second relief package, with many of the existing protections — including an eviction moratorium and enhanced unemployment insurance — set to expire at the end of the month.
And while the COVID-19 vaccine is finally arriving in some states, until it can be widely distributed and easily accessible, thousands of Americans are continuing to die each day. Data from the New York Times showed more than 3,600 Americans were reported to have died of COVID-19 yesterday.