Fri, December 09, 2022

First-Time U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims Fell Below 1 Million

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The U.S., the world’s largest economy, is struggling to cope with the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Thankfully, first-time jobless claims fell below 1 million for the first time since mid-March. This means the labor market is continuing its recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

Interestingly, there were total claims of around 963,000 for the week ending on August 8, which is lower than what economists were expecting. Notably, compared to the previous week, the total claims fell by 228,000.

It is worth noting that jobless claims surpassed 1 million for 20 weeks in a row, as the U.S. economy went into lockdown to contain the coronavirus pandemic. The last time the total was below that number was several months ago, on March 14.

Nevertheless, there is plenty of work to do for the job market to get back to normal. Importantly, the people who are collecting benefits for at least two weeks totaled nearly 15.5 million. In fact, compared to the previous week, this number fell from more than 16 million. However, it will be tough to reach pre-pandemic levels. Unemployment remains a huge problem for the U.S. economy.

 

Jobless claims and the main challenges

Interestingly, the total number of people who receive benefits had a second week of declines since a provision expired on July 31. As a reminder, unemployment insurance recipients received an extra $600 a week on top of their normal compensation.

Congressional leaders are debating an extension. However, the process is quite complicated. Meanwhile, U.S. President Donald Trump issued an executive order that would provide an extra $400.

Moreover, the total number of Americans receiving unemployment benefits fell for the week ending on July 25, by more than 3 million, to 28.26 million.

Also, the number of people who receive benefits under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program totaled 488,622. Interestingly, compared to the previous tally this number fell by 167,377. This program provides compensation to those who normally wouldn’t be eligible for benefits, such as independent contractors.

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