Compared with last week, it has declined, slightly better than economists expected. Even so, claims are still three and a half times higher than the same period last year. Overall, the number of unemployed people still far exceeds the highest level in history, which shows that the job market continues to suffer during the coronavirus pandemic.
Nancy Vanden Houten, chief U.S. economist at Oxford Economics, said the uncertainty over holiday and New Year benefits extensions may have inhibited claims last week.
In addition to regular applications for unemployment benefits, 308,262 workers applied for assistance under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program, which provides benefits to those who do not qualify for regular state assistance (such as self-employed workers and part-time workers).
A total of 1
“The decline in the total number of recruits is moving in the right direction, but since the outbreak of this crisis, the amount of claims has not fallen below 1 million,” Instant Hiring Lab economist AnnElizabeth Konkel said in an email.
At the same time, in the week ending December 19, 5.2 million workers applied for regular unemployment benefits from the state government for the second consecutive week or longer. Most importantly, in the week of 2004, another 4.8 million People are paid under the pandemic emergency unemployment compensation plan. On December 12, benefits are provided when workers have exhausted state benefits.
As of the week of December 12, a total of 19.6 million Americans have applied for some form of continuous unemployment benefits.
Ten months after the outbreak, thousands of workers lost their livelihoods in response to the crisis and still rely on government contributions to make ends meet. For those who are lucky enough to return to work, reduced working hours and reduced wages are also worrying.
Vanden Houten wrote in a report to clients: “Despite the optimistic economic outlook for the second half of 2021, the economy and labor market will linger in some difficult areas from time to time, and we expect claims to continue to rise.”