2020 Comes to an End With Nearly 20 Million Americans Still Collecting Unemployment Benefits

With the end of 2020 closing in, the number of initial jobless claims in the US suddenly dropped last week, marking the second consecutive decline.

According to the latest data released by the Department of Labour, initial jobless claims declined by 19,000 to 787,000 for the week ending on December 26, which is considerably better than the 828,000 that was forecast by economists surveyed by Dow Jones.

In the meantime, continuing claims dropped by 103,000 to 5.219 million for the week of December 19, while the total number of Americans enrolled in the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program continues to remain elevated. In comparison though, the end of 2019 saw only 2 million individuals collecting jobless benefits, suggesting there is still a long road ahead before the labour market is back to its pre-pandemic levels.

Nonetheless, as coronavirus infections continues to accelerate across the US, some states reimposed lockdown restrictions that resulted in jobless claims increases. New York and California continue to lead the way in initial claims, while Illinois and Pennsylvania saw significant declines. Even with the ongoing vaccine efforts across the country, analysts are not anticipating some form of a return to normal until at least the summer.

Information for this briefing was found via the DOL and CNBC. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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