Unemployment claims remain high by historical standards: Before the outbreak of the coronavirus epidemic, weekly job applications were usually below 220,000 a week.
The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits last week rose to 744,000, signaling that many employers are still cutting jobs even as more and more people get the COVID-19 vaccine, who consumer trust and government distributing aid to the entire economy.
The US Department of Labor said Thursday that the number of applications had increased by 16,000 from 728,000 a week earlier. Unemployment cases have plummeted since the coronavirus hit the economy in March of last year. But they’re still high by historical standards: Before a pandemic broke out, weekly apps were typically below 220,000 a week.
In the week ending March 27, more than 3.7 million people are receiving traditional state unemployment benefits, the government said. If you include federal supplemental programs that were created last year to help the unemployed endure a health crisis, a total of 18.2 million people are receiving some form of unemployment assistance. on the 20th of March.
Economists monitor unemployment weekly for early signs of where the job market is headed. Applications are often a proxy for layoffs: They often decline as the economy improves. Or they rise when employers quit their jobs in response to sluggish consumer demand.
However, during the pandemic, numbers have become a less reliable barometer. Nations have struggled to deal with backlog unemployment records, and suspicions of fraud eclipse the volume of actual job cuts.
However, by nearly all measures, the economy was consolidated. In March, employers added 916,000 jobs, the most since August, and the unemployment rate dropped from 6.2% to 6%. In February, job search rates hit a record highest. Last month, consumer confidence posted the highest reading in a year.
And this week, the International Monetary Fund forecasts that the US economy will grow 6.4% this year. That would be the fastest annual rate since 1984 and the strongest of the richest countries in the world.
Many economists say they think the level of unemployment applications that are still high will gradually disappear.
Economists Nancy Vanden Houten and Gregory Daco of Oxford Economics said: “Unemployment claims may rise from week to week as the recovery holds, but we expect them to begin to decline. more customs when the economy achieves growth ”. “We expect the excellent jobs report in March to be the first of many and look for a hiring boom in the spring and summer months.”
However, the United States still had 8.4 million fewer jobs than in February 2020, just before the pandemic struck. Newly confirmed coronavirus infections, which have plummeted from early January to early March, have risen sharply over the past month. Additionally, vaccination rates for elderly Americans, those most vulnerable, have slowed significantly even as vaccine supplies have expanded.
And data firm Womply reports that the proportion of businesses that remained closed last week has increased since early March – from 38% to 45% for bars; from 35 percent to 46 percent for beauty shops; and from 30 percent to 38 percent for restaurants.