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Thursday’s report from the Labor Department showed that jobless claims dropped from a revised total of 345,000 the week before. The number of applications has fallen steadily since topping 900,000 in early January, reflecting the steady reopening of the economy after the pandemic recession.
The number of USA citizens seeking unemployment benefits fell last week to 310,000, an epidemic low and a symbol that the surge in COVID-19 cases caused by the delta variant has yet to steer to widespread layoffs.
Thursday’s report from the Department of Labor showed that jobless claims dropped from a revised total of 345,000 the week before. the amount of applications has fallen steadily since topping 900,000 in early January, reflecting the steady reopening of the economy after the pandemic recession.
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But the spread of the delta variant this summer has put renewed pressure on the economy and therefore the job market. On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve System reported that U.S. economic activity “downshifted” in July and August, partially due to a pullback in dining out, travel, and tourism associated with concerns about the delta variant.
And last week, the govt reported that hiring slowed dramatically in August, with employers adding just 235,000 jobs after having added roughly 1,000,000 in both June and July. Hiring plummeted in industries that need face-to-face contact with the general public, notably restaurants, hotels, and retail. Still, some jobs were added in other areas, and therefore the percentage actually dropped to five .2 percent from 5.4 percent.
This week, quite 8 million people lost all their unemployment benefits with the expiration of two federal programs that covered gig workers and other people who had been jobless for quite six months. Those emergency programs had been created in March 2020, when the pandemic first tore through the economy.
An additional 2 million people have lost a $300-a-week federal supplement to state unemployment benefits that expired in the week. Some business owners had complained that the federal supplement made it harder to fill open jobs. Those pleas led governors in about 25 states to cancel the $300 payment early and to shut off the 2 emergency programs in most of these states also. But academic research has found that thus far, the first cut-offs in jobless benefits have led to only a little increase in hiring in those states.
Many economists express concern that the cut-off will cause financial hardship because the resurgence of the pandemic will make it harder for a few of the unemployed to seek out work. After previous recessions, emergency expansions of jobless aid ended at a time when far fewer people were still receiving benefits.