Washington (Associated Press)-Last week, the number of people seeking unemployment benefits soared to 965,000, the highest level since late August, indicating that this recurrent virus may lead to layoffs.
The latest unemployment benefit figures released by the Department of Labor on ThursdayMaintain a level never seen before the virus infection. Before the pandemic, the weekly filing volume was usually around 225,000. After the nationwide shutdown took effect, this number soared to nearly 7 million last spring. There are fewer applications in the summer, but it has stayed above 700,000 since September.
The upsurge of layoffs and the economy are faltering, because consumers have avoided traveling, shopping, and dining out in the face of a surge in virus cases.According to reports, more than 4,300 people died on Tuesday, a record high. The closure of restaurants, bars and other venues where people gather in California, New York and other states may force layoffs.
Some states and cities are resisting shutdowns, Partly out of fear of economic consequences, but increased the risk of further infection. Minnesota allowed face-to-face dining to resume this week. Michigan is ready to do so. Some bars and restaurants in Kansas City are extending their business hours.
Economists say that once the coronavirus vaccine is more widely distributed, a wider recovery should be achieved in the second half of the year. The incoming Biden administration, as well as the House of Representatives and Senate now led by Democrats, will also promote more rescue assistance and spending measures to accelerate growth.
However, many analysts also worry that because millions of Americans are still unemployed and as many as one-sixth of small companies fail, those most affected by the recession may not benefit from economic recovery in the short term.
Nancy Vanden Houten, an economist at the Oxford Economics Institute, said: “Despite the positive economic outlook for the second half of 2021
There may be an increase in aid applications last week, partly because the National Employment Office was closed during the holidays, requiring some unemployed people to wait until last week to apply. Vanden Houten said that the $300 weekly increase in federal unemployment benefits may have encouraged more people to apply as part of a relief package implemented late last month.
Many people in the arts and entertainment fields have lost most or all of their income because the coronavirus has closed performance venues. Among them is Shelby Lewis, a classical trumpet player in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, who has not performed since he played Bach at the Kansas City Music Hall in early March. .
Lewis, 48, will receive $400 a week in unemployment benefits, including $300 in new federal benefits, and his wife is still working. He thanked the federal government for its assistance, and free musicians like him had not been eligible for assistance in the past.
However, fearing that many classical music groups will be permanently closed, Lewis shifted his professional focus to photography and design. Before becoming a full-time musician, he worked for ten years.
He said: “I think small regional orchestras usually decline.”
In addition to applying for unemployment benefits for the first time last week, the government said on Thursday that 5.3 million Americans still receive state unemployment benefits, up from 5.1 million the previous week. This shows that the number of unemployed who found a job has decreased.
As of the week of December 26 (the latest period for which data are available), approximately 11.6 million people received unemployment assistance from two federal programs. One of these programs provides more benefits to people who have exhausted state aid. Other supplies bring benefits to self-employed and contract workers.
These two procedures expired at the end of December. It was not until mid-March that they were updated with a 900 billion US dollar rescue plan. Congress approved it and President Donald Trump signed it into law. The legislation also includes a $600 relief check for most adults and a supplementary unemployment benefit of $300 a week. Congressional Democrats favored raising the check to $2,000 and extending federal aid beyond three months, as did President-elect Biden.
The December employment report released by the government last week clearly showed the weakness of the US job market.Employer is unemployed for the first time Since April, with the pandemic, the control of consumers and businesses has been further strengthened.
These figures also portray a severe imbalance in the job market: Last month’s losses were mainly concentrated in restaurants, bars, hotels, and entertainment venues, which provided in-person services that were restricted by the government or avoided by consumers. Educational services, mainly universities and universities, also laid off staff in December. The same is true for film and music studios.
However, most other large industries have reported employment growth. Many economists had predicted that unemployment would spread to more industries last spring. Although all sectors of the economy initially lay off employees, most have avoided major layoffs. For example, manufacturing, construction, and professional services such as engineering and construction all added jobs in December.
At the same time, many companies seem to be reluctant to increase recruitment significantly.A government report on Tuesday showed that employers recruited fewer vacancies November is better than October. Although the decline is small, it is common in most industries. Even now, the country’s jobs are nearly 10 million fewer than those before the pandemic a year ago that plunged the economy into a severe recession, while the number of jobs restored in the spring fell by only 56%.
Associated Press business writer Alexandra Olson (Alexandra Olson) contributed to the New York report.