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The number of Americans dropping off unemployment rolls is now outpacing new benefit claims. Since peaking at 24.9 million the week of May 9, the number of Americans receiving unemployment insurance—known as continuing claims—has fallen 3.4 million to 21.5 million as of May 23.
A drop in the number of Americans receiving unemployment benefits is another sign that employers are bringing workers back, and the economy is growing again.
Just as states ease their lockdowns at difference paces, recoveries are also happening at varying rates. Florida, which reopened much of its economy on May 4, leads the nation with a 1.5 million drop in the number of residents on its unemployment rolls. And it should drop further when Disney World partially reopens on July 11.
California saw the second biggest drop in workers seeking unemployment at 791,411. It was followed by Washington (-530,995), Ohio (-156,409), and New York (-106,232). The drop in New Yorkers receiving benefits comes despite New York City just starting Phase 1 of easing its lockdown on Monday.
While most of the country is seeing a drop in residents receiving unemployment benefits, the District of Columbia and nine states saw increases. The biggest upticks were in Oregon (139,925), Texas (128,834), Maine (68,975), Oklahoma (32,770), and Pennsylvania (17,453).
But as states reopen, they risk increasing the spread of the virus. Many states in the South and Southwest are now seeing increasing in COVID-19. cases, including Florida. New coronavirus cases reported in the Sunshine State increased an average of roughly 46% over the past week.
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