US Job Market Recovery Continues to Stagnate as COVID Rises | Business and economic news


The number of Americans filing new unemployment claims with states declined slightly last week, but remains stubbornly high as COVID-19 restrictions continue to hamper the job market recovery in United States.

The number of Americans filing new unemployment claims with states declined slightly last week, but remains stubbornly high as COVID-19 restrictions continue to hamper the job market recovery in United States.

Some 787,000 people filed for unemployment for the first time last week, down just 3,000 from the previous week’s level, the US Department of Labor said Thursday.

While weekly jobless claims – a proxy for layoffs – are well below their pandemic highs, they are still nearly four times higher than pre-pandemic levels, indicating that the labor market still has a lot of healing to do. make.

“While the economic outlook for the end of 2021 is optimistic, the economy and the labor market will have to navigate difficult terrain by then, and we expect the demands to remain high,” Nancy Vanden wrote. Houten, Senior US Economist for Oxford Economics in a note to clients.

The total number of workers collecting state benefits – a measure known as “continuing claims” – fell by 126,000 in the week ending Dec. 26 to 5.07 million.

Throw in federal programs, and the number of unemployed workers receiving benefits fell by more than 400,000 in the week ending Dec. 19 to 19.176 million.

Part of that drop was due to the expiration of federal unemployment benefits before they were renewed as part of the $ 900 billion stimulus deal that was signed on December 27.

The series of new coronavirus relief measures include a weekly federal top-up of $ 300 to state unemployment benefits and provisions for eligible laid-off workers to claim up to 24 weeks of federal unemployment benefits after having exhausted state aid.

A more complete picture of the country’s labor market is expected to be released on Friday with the December jobs report. Economists expect a disappointing reading due to the fallout from COVID-19.

The labor market still has a lot of lost ground to make up.

Of the 22 million jobs lost due to lockdowns in March and April last year, only just over 12 million have been recovered. And while the country’s unemployment rate edged down to 6.7 percent in November, it fell because fewer people were actually looking for jobs.

Other economic measures also indicate that the recovery is faltering.

Retail sales posted their biggest drop in seven months in November, as the surge in COVID-19 infections ushered in more business-undermining restrictions to curb the spread of the virus.



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