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These states suffer the worst unemployment as coronavirus pandemic recovery lags

The number of jobs lost due to the coronavirus shutdown continue to mount, with the latest weekly total of Americans applying for unemployment benefits coming in at 787,000. Yahoo Finance's Emily McCormick and Zack Guzman break down the details.

Video Transcript

ZACK GUZMAN: I want to kick things off with a look at the macro focus here on the recovery because we got the update in unemployment claims for the week. And that number fell for the third time in four weeks, suggesting that the recovery, though a bit shaky here day-to-day, week-to-week, still seems intact. And for more on that, I want to get to Yahoo Finance's Emily McCormick, who has more details on the report. Emily.

EMILY MCCORMICK: Zack, we got an upside surprise in this morning's Department of Labor weekly jobless claims report. And in that, we saw that new jobless claims actually fell more than expected, coming in below that 800,000 mark and below the 1 million mark for the eighth straight week now.

Now for those jobless claims for the week ended October 17th, those coming in at 787,000. Consensus economists had been looking for 870,000. And the previous week did have a downwardly revised 842,000 new claims. So again, seeing a steady improvement there.

Now taking a look at the state by state claims, we did see this improvement even as California, the most populous state and one that had previously contributed significantly to increases in new jobless claims, resuming its reports on new claims in this week's data. So we actually saw unadjusted claims in California falling by more than 17,000 last week to about 159,000.

Now this was still the highest among all states, but it did remark an improvement from the more than 200 claims that the state had been reporting each week as recently as last month. Now taking a look at the majority of US states, those also reporting declines in unadjusted new claims in this most recent data. We saw Florida, Georgia, and New York, also very populous states, reporting significant steps down in these new filings.

Now on the flip side, we did see Texas, Massachusetts, and Virginia still reporting notable increases in new claims. Now taking a look at continuing jobless claims, we saw those improve much more than expected, those coming in at 8.4 million for the week ending October 10th, better than the 9.6 million that had been expected and downwardly revised about 9.4 million during the previous week.

Now this data, this improvement that we saw in the continuing claims side, a bit of a double-edged sword here, because at the same time, we did see an increase in the number of individuals on pandemic emergency unemployment compensation.

So essentially, what the drop in continuing claims implies is that many individuals are exhausting their regular state aid and actually moving onto this federal program for an additional 13 weeks worth of benefits. So again, a bit of a mixed picture that we're seeing with the labor market. But those new jobless claims did come in better than expected, Zack.