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Economists forecast an additional 2.4 million Americans filed for unemployment insurance last week

Economists forecast an additional 2.4 million Americans filed for unemployment insurance last week
Reuters



The median economist estimate for jobless claims in the week ending May 16 is 2.4 million, according to Bloomberg data. The Labor Department will release the official report Thursday.




While it would be another week of declining claims, the number of Americans filing for unemployment is still highly elevated.




"We are becoming less hopeful of a quick drop in jobless claims below the one million mark, which had seemed likely to come as soon as early June," Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, wrote in a Wednesday note.




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Economists expect that Thursday's weekly initial jobless claims report from the Labor Department will show that 2.4 million Americans filed for unemployment insurance in the week ending May 16, according to Bloomberg data.
While it would be another week of declining claims, it's still an elevated number that shows the continued devastation of the coronavirus pandemic on the US labor market. In the previous week ending May 9, claims were nearly 3 million.
Claims have gradually declined each week since they peaked at the end of March. Economists have been closely watching the rate of falling claims to gauge when they might return to some semblance of normalcy, or at least fall below the 1 million level.
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