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Updated: July 9, 2020

Mass. unemployment ticks downward, remains 5x average

Photo | Grant Welker A man walks by a vacant storefront on Front Street in downtown Worcester.

Unemployment claims filed since the coronavirus pandemic began have increased to 1,093,079 in Massachusetts, according to U.S Department of Labor data released Thursday.

There were 26,755 new claims made throughout the week ending July 4, which is 2,944 less the week prior. The Labor Department on Thursday adjusted the number of claims made the week ending June 27, increasing from 29,167 to 29,699. 

New weekly claims numbers have been relatively flat since late May, with numbers of between 25,000 and 30,000 for five of the last six weeks. A year ago, the state's weekly claims totaled only about 5,600.

In the week ending July 4, new claims were highest in health and social assistance (3,840 new claims), public administration (2,168) education (2,028), manufacturing (2,010) and retail, food and accommodation (1,948 in both industries).

Three sectors in particular have been hardest hit since mid-March. Food and accommodation unemployment claims have totaled 153,307, retail has hit 135,514 claims, and health and social assistance stands at 138,723 through the week ending July 4.

Source: Massachusetts Executive Office for Labor and Workforce Development

The unemployment number came before Gov. Charlie Baker announced the beginning of Phase 3 in Massachusetts. Step one of Phase 3 will include the reopening of the following establishments with restrictions: movie theatres and outdoor performance venues, museums, cultural, and historical sites, fitness centers and health clubs, certain indoor recreational activities (with low potential for contact), and professional sports teams, who can have games without spectators, with authority of league wide rules.

Nationally, there were 1.3 million claims filed last week, which is 99,000 less than the week prior. In total, the country has had 50 million unemployment claims filed since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. 

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