US Initial Jobless Claims on the Rise Again as Soaring Covid Cases Crush Labour Market

The US labour market recovery appears to be stalling amid a surge in coronavirus cases and growing uncertainty about future economic prospects. For the second week in a row, the number of Americans filing for unemployment for the first time increased from 742,000 to 778,000 this week, surpassing the Dow Jones estimate by 45,000.

According to the latest data released by the Labour Department, continuing claims for those Americans still receiving benefits for at least two weeks dropped by 299,000 to a total of 6.07 million. Conversely however, enrolment into the PEUC program soared by 466,106 to 9.15 million as Americans maximized their duration on standard unemployment benefits.

In the meantime, the total number of unemployed workers still receiving some form of benefits increased by 135,297 from the week prior to 20.45 million. In comparison though, there were only 1.5 million Americans receiving unemployment benefits during this time a year ago – suggesting that the labour market still has a very long road to recovery ahead. Indeed, as infections across the country continue to surge with daily new cases averaging 174,225 in the past week, coupled with the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday which will likely see a substantial increase in travel, additional pandemic restrictions will likely be imposed in the foreseeable future.

In fact, many state governments are already bringing back restrictions that were previously lifted during the summer as the country’s healthcare system becomes increasingly stressed. The average number of daily cases have not fallen below 100,000 for the past three weeks, while new hospitalization records have been set each day – for 15 consecutive days. Total cases in the US have now surpassed 12.7 million, with the number of deaths rising above 260,000.

Information for this briefing was found via the DOL and Johns Hopkins University. 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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