As the US economy struggles to make headway in its recovery, the number of unemployed Americans still continues to rise. According to latest data released by the US Department of Labour, the week ending August 1 saw an additional 1.186 million initial jobless claims, which is slightly down from the 1.434 million in the previous week. Although the latest numbers are the lowest weekly increase since the beginning of the pandemic, the damage to America’s labour market remains severe; last week marks the 20th consecutive week of claims topping 1 million.
Since the middle of March, a total of 54 million Americans have filed for unemployment; however, despite the copious amount of stimulus spending by the federal government, continuing unemployment claims only declined by 844,000 to 16.1 million. According to PNC senior economist Bill Adams, both the continuing and initial claims are still running alarmingly high, suggesting that many employers were still laying off workers in July. In addition, the now-expired $600 in employment top-up benefits were still accounted for in the latest employment data, so the results may be potentially swayed.
In the meantime, the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, which was designed to cover those individuals that otherwise would not have eligible coverage under regular unemployment insurance also expired on July 31. The program’s recipients declined by 253,093 to a total of 655,707. Although the White House and Congress are currently in the works of extending the program, a final agreement has not yet been reached.
Information for this briefing was found via US Department of Labour. 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.