The number of Americans seeking unemployment fell to a new coronavirus pandemic, while private sector employment increased.
The number of Americans filing for new unemployment benefits fell below 400,000 last week for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began more than a year ago, the U.S. Department of Labor said Thursday. United States (DOL).
Initial state unemployment benefit claims were 385,000 for the week ended May 29, compared to 405,000 the previous week.
“The fall in new claims (almost half since early April) shows that layoffs are falling, while the stubborn level of continued claims reminds us that the full recovery of jobs lost during the pandemic will be a more uneven process, ”Nancy said. Oxford Economists Vanden Houten and Gregory Daco said in a note Thursday.
Although initial claims have fallen from a record 6.14 billion in early April 2020 (in the midst of a pandemic lock-in period), they remain well above the usual 200,000 to 250,000 range observed during a labor market. healthy. And more than 3.7 million Americans received state unemployment benefits during the week ending May 22.
However, as the economy recedes, many companies also have trouble hiring workers for open jobs.
This has become fodder for the partisan political division in the US, and some claim that the $ 300-a-week federal surcharge on state unemployment benefits is discouraging unemployed workers from taking a hit. fist on the clock.
But economists point to other factors at play, including the lack of childcare options for working parents and the fear among some unemployed people that they may be exposed to COVID-19 if they return to work.
Republican governors in 25 U.S. states, including Florida and Texas, are willing to cut federal-funded employment programs, including the $ 300-a-week unemployment benefit surcharge.
Now all eyes are on DOL’s monthly work report for Friday, May.
“We expect the May job report to show that the labor market recovery regained momentum last month, with payroll growth of 854,000,” said Vanden Houten and Daco of Oxford Economics.
Ahead of this May job report, the ADP Research Institute said on Thursday that private payrolls were up 978,000, the biggest jump since June last year. Even more encouraging were the gains driven by hiring in the leisure and hospitality sector, which was one of the hardest hit by the pandemic restrictions.
Although the number of ADPs can vary significantly from the government’s monthly unemployment figures, the report is still considered a barometer of job creation.
While the U.S. may return to work, there is a shortage of workers, even though nearly ten million Americans officially receive unemployment benefits.