It marked a lower from the prior week and was barely higher than economists had predicted. Even so, claims have been nonetheless three-and-a-half occasions greater than in the identical interval final 12 months. Overall, unemployment claims stay elevated nicely above historic norms, signaling ongoing ache within the job market in the course of the coronavirus pandemic.
The holidays and uncertainty in regards to the extension of advantages within the New Year could have held down claims final week, in response to Nancy Vanden Houten, lead US economist at Oxford Economics.
In addition to common jobless claims, one other 308,262 staff filed for assist below the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, which supplies advantages to individuals who aren’t eligible for normal state assist, such because the self-employed and gig staff.
Together, 1.1 million Americans filed preliminary claims for unemployment advantages, not adjusted for seasonal swings.
“While the decline in total initial claims is movement in the right direction, they have not fallen below one million since this crisis began,” mentioned Indeed Hiring Lab economist AnnElizabeth Konkel in emailed feedback.
Meanwhile, 5.2 million staff filed continued claims, for his or her second week or extra of standard state unemployment advantages, within the week ending December 19. On prime of that, one other 4.eight million folks acquired funds below the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program within the week of December 12, which supplies advantages when staff have exhausted their state advantages.
In complete, 19.6 million Americans filed for some type of ongoing jobless advantages within the week ending December 12.
Ten months into the pandemic, hundreds of thousands of staff nonetheless depend on authorities funds to make ends meet after shedding their livelihoods to the disaster. For these fortunate sufficient to be again at work, diminished hours and wages are additionally a fear.
“While prospects for the economy later in 2021 are upbeat, the economy and labor market will have to navigate some difficult terrain between now and then, and we expect claims to remain elevated,” Vanden Houten wrote in a notice to shoppers.