Despite businesses beginning to reopen, nearly 1.9 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week.
According to the Department of Labor, 1.88 million people applied for the jobless benefits, with another 623K applying for a federal relief program for the self-employed, reported Market Watch.
Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in mid-March, over 42 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits.
Despite the continuing numbers of people without work, some experts are cautiously hopeful things may be tapering off as this was the first week jobless claims fell under two million.
"The situation might be improving, but only ever so slightly," Nick Bunker, director of economic research at the Indeed Hiring Lab, told CBS News.
But while restaurants, salons and other businesses have started to ramp up operations, the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak are expected to linger.
"Even as states reopen, claims in the millions are an indicator that the economic pain of the COVID-19 crisis is still acute," Glassdoor senior economist Daniel Zhao told ABC News.
A sentiment further echoed by Rubeela Farooqi, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics.
"New protocols related to virus containment will likely continue to restrict activity, and layoffs, though they may continue to moderate, will remain high in the near term," Farooqi told CBS.
Even with businesses opening their doors, recovery is dependent on people feeling confident about returning to their former activities such as shopping, eating out, traveling and socializing.
“What’s really going to move the needle economically is when consumers and businesses feel comfortable re-engaging with the economy the way they did before COVID-19,” Adam Kamins, a senior regional economist at Moody’s Analytics, told the Associated Press.
According to reports, the Department of Labor is expected to announce that the US economy lost 8 million jobs in May, in addition to the 20 million previously lost during the month of April.
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