California unemployment claims mount higher amid ongoing layoffs

Peninsula Premier Admin

California’s frail job market, battered by nearly one year of coronavirus-linked business shutdowns, has suffered a fresh setback with a sharp increase in initial filings for unemployment benefits, a new government report shows.

Workers in California filed 132,800 initial claims for unemployment for the week that ended on Feb. 6, a jump of 23,600 claims from the week that ended on Jan. 30, the U.S. Labor Department reported Thursday.

In another grim trend: The pace of jobless claims in California has intensified at the same time that unemployment claims are dropping in the United States.

Nationwide, initial unemployment claims totaled 793,000 during the week that ended on Feb. 6, down 19,000 from the week ending Jan. 30, according to the federal report.

California also is accounting for far more than its share of unemployment claims.

Even though the state has just 12% of the nation’s labor force, California now accounts for 16.1% of all of the jobless claims filed nationwide, this news organization’s analysis of the Labor Department report shows.

For 44 of the last 45 weeks, California unemployment claims have topped 100,000. The only exception was the week that ended on Jan. 23, which economists now view as a reporting quirk by the state Employment Development Department for that week.

Other than that one anomaly, the last time California unemployment claims were below 100,000 was the week of March 14, 2020.

Contributed by local news sources

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