(CBS NEWS) – More Americans are going back to work as the economy opens, but unemployment remains historically high. 1.31 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits during the week ending July 4, according to the Labor Department.
It’s a drop from the previous week but a number that would have been a record before the pandemic.
More layoffs are on the way.
Brooks Brothers opened its first store 200 years ago.
The company operated through several wars and the Great Depression but the coronavirus shutdowns proved to be too much. The retailer is filing for bankruptcy and will permanently shut down 51 stores.
Bed Bath & Beyond is shutting down about 200 stores over the next two years.
Sur La Table is closing more than 50 stores, which is nearly half of its locations.
In the hard-hit airline industry, United says it may have to lay off up to 36,000 workers this fall.
“The labor market has been turned on its head. Before this crisis, there were a million more job openings than unemployed workers.
Now there are millions more unemployed workers, and so it’ll be hard for each one to find work, and the job search may take longer,” says Julia Pollack, a labor economist at ZipRecruiter.
Many unemployed workers are still battling to get benefits. “Very frustrating. I feel like I’m at a dead end,” says Rosa Castillo. She lost her job in March in California and has yet to receive any money. “So I have really nothing to survive on,” Castillo says.
People across the country are experiencing similar delays as understaffed unemployment offices remain overwhelmed by millions of applications.