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U.S. jobless benefit claims rise; 178 last week in St. Mary

More than 1.4 million American workers filed new unemployment claims last week, an increase over the previous week as new restrictions are being put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19.
That number includes 178 St. Mary Parish residents who filed initial claims last week.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 1.43 million workers filed new claims for unemployment benefits in the week ending July 25, up 12,000 from the week ending July 18. It was the second week in a row that new claims increased.
Continuing claims, which count workers who filed for unemployment benefits at least two weeks in a row, were at 16.9 million.
“The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 11.6 percent during the week ending July 18, an increase of 0.4 percentage point from the prior week,” the labor department said. The unemployment rate report lags new claims by a week.
The latest weekly unemployment report was released on the same day the U.S. Department of Commerce said that the nation’s Gross Domestic Product dropped an estimated 32.9 percent, the worst decline since at least World War II. GDP is generally viewed as a measure of a country’s economic health. The U.S. began measuring GDP in 1947.
California once again led the nation in new unemployment claims, with 249,007 last week.
In St. Mary, 1,061 people filed initial claims this month, an average of about 265 new claims each week.
In the week ending March 14, the last week before business closures and the stay at home order went into effect, 22 St. Mary people filed initial claims.
The St. Mary unemployment rate for June, announced this week, was 11.2%, the Louisiana Workforce Commission reported.
The commission said 16,960 St. Mary people were employed last month.
The St. Mary jobless rate was down from 14.8% in May.
In June 2019, the parish’s unemployment rate was 6.4%.

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