Loading...

US Jobless Claims Tick Up From Near a Pandemic Low

September 23, 2021by Paul Wiseman, AP Economics Writer
US Jobless Claims Tick Up From Near a Pandemic Low
A hiring sign is placed at a booth for prospective employers during a job fair Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2021, in the West Hollywood section of Los Angeles. The number of Americans applying for unemployment aid rose last week for a second straight week to 351,000, a sign that the delta variant of the coronavirus may be disrupting the job market’s recovery, at least temporarily.(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans applying for unemployment aid rose last week for a second straight week to 351,000, a sign that the delta variant of the coronavirus may be disrupting the job market’s recovery, at least temporarily.

Thursday’s report from the Labor Department showed that jobless claims rose by 16,000 from the previous week. As the job market has strengthened, unemployment aid applications, which generally track layoffs, have tumbled since topping 900,000 early this year, reflecting the economy’s reopening after the pandemic recession. The four-week moving average of claims, which smooths out week-to-week swings, registered its sixth straight drop — to a pandemic low of 336,000. 

Jobless claims still remain somewhat elevated: Before the virus tore through the economy in March 2020, they generally numbered about 220,000 a week.

In a research report, Contingent Macro Advisors concluded that the recent jump in applications for unemployment benefits — especially so last week in California and Virginia — likely reflected a technical problem in processing the claims: “For now, the jump in claims in the last two weeks is not yet alarming but it certainly bears close watching in the coming weeks.”

America’s employers have rapidly increased their hiring since they slashed 22 million jobs in March and April 2020 as the pandemic — and the shutdowns that were meant to contain it — brought economic activity to a near-standstill. Since then, the economy has recovered about 17 million jobs as the rollout of vaccines encouraged businesses to open and expand hours and Americans to go back out to shop, travel and dine out.

But hiring, which has averaged more than 585,000 jobs a month this year, slowed to just 235,000 in August as the delta variant disrupted the recovery. Restaurants and bars cut nearly 42,000 jobs last month as COVID-19 cases picked up. 

Overall, 2.8 million Americans were receiving unemployment benefits during the week of Sept. 11, up by 131,000 from the week before. 

Earlier this month, more than 8 million people lost all their unemployment benefits with the expiration of two federal programs that covered gig workers and people who have been jobless for more than six months. Those emergency programs had been created in March of last year to help ease the economic hardship caused by the pandemic.

An additional 2.7 million people who were receiving regular state unemployment aid lost a $300-a-week federal unemployment supplement last week. 

In The News

Health

Voting

Employment

August 5, 2022
by Dan McCue
Maryland Receives $22.9M Grant to Expand Offshore Wind Workforce

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The Maryland Department of Labor has received a $22.9 million Good Jobs Challenge grant from the federal... Read More

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The Maryland Department of Labor has received a $22.9 million Good Jobs Challenge grant from the federal government to help it implement a new apprenticeship model to support the region’s growing offshore wind industry. The Maryland project was one of 32 winners chosen... Read More

July 18, 2022
by Dan McCue
Staffers in Eight House Offices File Union Organizing Petitions

WASHINGTON — Staffers in eight congressional offices have formally applied for recognition of their union by the Office of Congressional... Read More

WASHINGTON — Staffers in eight congressional offices have formally applied for recognition of their union by the Office of Congressional Workplace Rights. The staffers are all members of the recently formed Congressional Workers Union. They work in the offices of Reps. Cori Bush, D-Mo., Chuy Garcia,... Read More

July 8, 2022
by Madeline Hughes
Ethics Office: Federal Employees With Crypto Shouldn’t Work on Rules

WASHINGTON — Federal employees with crypto-assets shouldn’t be working on new rules and regulations that could influence the value of... Read More

WASHINGTON — Federal employees with crypto-assets shouldn’t be working on new rules and regulations that could influence the value of those assets, according to a new legal advisory from the Office of Government Ethics. This comes as multiple agencies across the federal government were instructed by... Read More

July 6, 2022
by Reece Nations
Discrimination Lurks in University Hiring Platforms 

WASHINGTON — The Department of Justice is shedding light on the growing trend of discrimination toward non–U.S. citizens on university... Read More

WASHINGTON — The Department of Justice is shedding light on the growing trend of discrimination toward non–U.S. citizens on university job recruitment platforms after landing a score of settlements. DOJ signed 16 settlement agreements requiring private employers to pay a total of $832,944 in civil penalties.... Read More

June 29, 2022
by Tom Ramstack
Supreme Court Expands Veterans’ Rights to Sue States for Job Discrimination

WASHINGTON — A Supreme Court ruling Wednesday broadens the rights of veterans to sue state agencies for employment discrimination based... Read More

WASHINGTON — A Supreme Court ruling Wednesday broadens the rights of veterans to sue state agencies for employment discrimination based on their military service. The ruling revives a lawsuit by a former Texas state trooper who said he was forced out of his job because of... Read More

June 29, 2022
by Reece Nations
Companies Embrace Future of Work Trends Post-COVID

SAN ANTONIO — The pandemic may have been the catalyst for workplaces around the country to adapt and solve common... Read More

SAN ANTONIO — The pandemic may have been the catalyst for workplaces around the country to adapt and solve common issues experienced before COVID-19 forced companies to change their everyday operations. Although the economy has largely recovered from COVID-19 following unprecedented legislative action, some companies aren’t... Read More

News From The Well