Weekly Jobless Claims and Rising Covid Cases

Jobless Claims

Millions of people from New York to Los Angeles lost their jobs and some of them are still out of work. Importantly, the pace of first-time fillings for jobless claims picked up last week. The coronavirus pandemic continues to affect the labor market. It is not surprising as the country, has the highest number of coronavirus cases in the world.

People should keep in mind that claims totaled 778,000 for the week ended November 21. Importantly, this result surpassed expectations. According to the Labor Department, in the previous week 742,000 people made the decision to apply for benefits.

Interestingly, continuing claims for those collecting benefits for at least two weeks maintained their decline, dropping to 6.07 million. As a result, the number of people who collect benefits for at least two weeks fell by 299,000.

People should not forget that the data comes amid an ongoing rise in coronavirus cases as well as worries that the national health system is becoming stressed. This is not the end of the story as Thanksgiving could send that level higher according to health officials. It makes sense as families across the country travel to celebrate the holiday. People should understand that, it is better to stay at home and not to travel around the country due to the ongoing situation.

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Jobless claims across the states

It is worth noting that, weekly jobless claims have been below 800,000 for the past six weeks. However, they are still well above the pre-coronavirus record due to restrictions on activity. For example, the hospitality industry suffered losses this year. Moreover, restrictions on capacity and the likelihood that many will have to go back to take-out only operations or closely completely represent a serious challenge for the industry.

Importantly, enrollment in the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program, which provides benefits to those not normally eligible, decreased by 8,019 over the past to 311,675. Nevertheless, people on the PUA emergency program, which helps people who lost their benefits with 13 more weeks of compensation, jumped by 466,106 to 9.16 million. As a reminder, that data is two weeks behind.

Notably, the total receiving benefits rose to 20.45 million for the week ended November 7. This data once more underlines the severity of the problem.
Interestingly, the Labor Department released the information regarding the jobless claims a day earlier than usual due to the holiday. Importantly, Illinois showed the largest weekly jump in claims, rising 18,225 or 39% according to unadjusted data. Moreover, the number of claims also increased in Michigan as well as Washington State.

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