New jobless claims remain stubbornly high

Americans filed nearly 1.5 million new claims for jobless benefits last week - as companies cut jobs at the same pace as the ones that are hiring.

The new jobless claims data announced Thursday was down just a smidge from the prior week, and was more than economists had expected. And it marked the 14th straight week that unemployment claims came in over a million.

Claims are still historically high --- double their peak during the Great Recession.

The latest data supports views that it could take years for the labor market to recover from the pandemic. And the rising number of coronavirus infections are likely to hurt hiring as consumers avoid visiting restaurants and other establishments.

While sounding otherwise optimistic, White House adviser Larry Kudlow said in a Fox Business interview Thursday that the current spike in coronavirus cases and hotspots will lead to shutdowns in certain places.

Separately, investors got more signs Thursday that business investment could lag the broader economic recovery. Rising orders for capital goods in May recouped only a portion of the declines of the prior two months.