Wednesday, 03 March, 2021


New US unemployment benefits claims fall to 880,000

IHS Markit New US unemployment benefits claims fall to 880,000
Melba Vasquez | 04 September, 2020, 19:56

The 7,823 initial unemployment claims filed last week in Alabama marked a 9.8 percent decrease from the 8,676 initial claims filed in the week ending August 22, according to Labor Department data.

The department said there are 13.3 million continuing claims, which lag initial claims by a week.

With last week's claims report, the Labor Department changed the methodology it used to address seasonal fluctuations in the data, which economists complained had become less reliable because of the economic shock caused by the coronavirus crisis. However weak demand in sectors such as leisure and hospitality that account for a high share of employment compared to their economic output meant "the labour market recovery is likely to remain relatively underwhelming".

After seeing a historic drop of some three million jobs over March and April at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the economy has since recovered just over half of what was lost.

According to the Department of Labor's latest report, which breaks out the insured unemployment rate (a ratio of people on unemployment benefits divided by labor force) through August 15, Hawaii is now suffering the worst employment picture with a nation-leading insured unemployment rate of 18.6%.

Still, the auto and housing industries have made solid gains, bolstered by rock-bottom loan rates.

Yet many companies across the spectrum - from small businesses to hotels, restaurants, airlines and entertainment venues - remain deeply hurt by a loss of customers.

United and American airlines, hurt by diminished air travel, said they will cut thousands of jobs unless the government provides additional aid to help cover payroll costs. Salesforce is cutting 1,000 jobs, Bed Bath & Beyond 2,800.

The recent expiration of a $600-a-week federal jobless benefit has deepened the difficulties for America´s unemployed.

And many economists think hiring is slowing.

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