US unemployment claims fall to the lowest level since the pandemic | Chicago News

On Saturday, October 9, 2021, the display of a clothing store in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, has a sign that is currently in use (AP Photo / vDavid Zalubowski).

Washington (AP) — The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits has fallen to the lowest level since the pandemic began. Despite the slowdown in employment in the last two months, the employment market is still a sign of improvement.

According to the Ministry of Labor, unemployment allowance fell from 36,000 to 293,000 last week, the second consecutive year of decline. This is the minimum number of people applying for benefits since the week of March 14, 2020, when the pandemic intensified and the first claims fell below 300,000. Unemployment aid applications, which generally track the pace of furloughs, have been steadily declining since last spring, as many companies struggling to fill their jobs retain their workers. ..

Layoff declines occur in the otherwise unusual employment market. Recruitment has slowed in the last two months, despite a record number of jobs posted by businesses and other employers. Companies are struggling to find about 3 million workers who have lost their jobs and stopped looking for jobs because the pandemic has not yet resumed searching for jobs. Economists hoped more people would find a job in September as schools were reopened, childcare restrictions were eased and unemployment assistance was strengthened nationwide.

However, the employer only added 194,000 jobs last month and no pick-up happened. On the bright side, the unemployment rate fell from 5.2% to 4.8%, partly because many unemployed people stopped looking for jobs and were no longer counted as unemployed. .. In September, the proportion of women working or looking for a job decreased, either because it was difficult to find childcare or because the school was disrupted by the outbreak of COVID-19.

At the same time, Americans have quit their jobs in record numbers, with about 3% of workers resigning in August. Workers were particularly likely to quit their jobs in restaurants, bars and hotels, perhaps driven by fear of the still rapidly expanding delta variant of COVID-19 in August.

Other workers may stop taking advantage of the higher wages offered by recruiting companies. The average hourly wage in September rose steadily to 4.6% year-on-year, with restaurant workers wage growth exceeding 10% over the past year.

The number of people who continue to receive unemployment assistance has also dropped sharply, mainly due to the termination of two emergency unemployment assistance programs. In the week leading up to September 25, the latest available data, 3.6 million people received some unemployment assistance, a significant decrease from 4.2 million last week. A year ago, nearly 25 million people were receiving benefits.

The emergency program provided unemployment benefits for the first time to self-employed and gig workers, as well as workers who have been unemployed for more than 6 months. When these two programs expired on September 6, more than 7 million Americans lost their weekly financial support. An additional $ 300 of federal unemployment aid also expired that week.

Many executives and Republican politicians said the additional $ 300 was discouraging people who were absent from work from getting a job. However, about half of the states dropped additional checks in mid-June, and these states did not see faster employment growth than the profitable states.

US unemployment claims fall to the lowest level since the pandemic | Chicago News

Source link US unemployment claims fall to the lowest level since the pandemic | Chicago News

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