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Updated: July 30, 2020

Mass. unemployment claims back on the rise

Photo | Grant Welker The Worcester-area economy is carrying on through one of the nation's worst unemployment rates, including construction of a new Table Talk Pies headquarters and production facility on Gardner Street in Worcester.

More than 19,000 new unemployment claims were made last week across Massachusetts, a slight increase from the prior week, showing continued economic disruption in a state with the country's worst unemployment rate.

There were 19,218 new claims made throughout the week ending July 25, which is 580 more than the week prior, according to U.S Department of Labor data released Thursday. The Labor Department on Thursday adjusted the number of claims made the week ending July 18 from 18,313 to 18,638. 

Unemployment claims filed since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic have increased to 1,155,362 in Massachusetts, according to the U.S Department of Labor.

Industries with the most new unemployment claims last week were health and social assistance (2,235 claims), retail (1,907), food and accommodation (1,674) and administrative and waste services (1,329). In each of those cases, claims were up last week over the prior one, indicating lingering issues even as many consumer-facing businesses have expanded operations in the last month.

The latest unemployment numbers come after Gov. Charlie Baker's continued guidance on reopenings and restrictions in the first step of Phase Three of the economic reopening plan.

Nationally, there were 1.43 million claims filed last week, which is 12,000 more than the prior week's 1.42 million. In total, the country has had roughly 55 million unemployment claims filed since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Thursday's latest weekly unemployment claims numbers came out the same morning as another sobering measure of the economic hit the nation has taken. Gross domestic product in the second quarter fell by a 32.9% annualized rate compared to the previous three months, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Massachusetts has the nation's worst unemployment rate at 17.5% in June. Worcester-area unemployment numbers are 26th worse of nearly 400 metropolitan areas nationally at 15.8%.

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July 30, 2020

Thank you Governor Baker for doing all you can to keep those unemployment numbers as high as possible!

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