U.S. jobless claims rise to 419,000 from a pandemic low

Business

POLITICO 22 July, 2021 - 07:48am

Americans are shopping, traveling and eating out more as the pandemic has waned.

By ASSOCIATED PRESS

The Labor Department said Thursday that jobless claims increased last week to 419,000 from 368,000 the previous week. The weekly number of first-time applications for benefits, which generally tracks layoffs, has fallen steadily since topping 900,000 in early January.

Americans are shopping, traveling and eating out more as the pandemic has waned, boosting the economy and forcing businesses to scramble for more workers. Companies have posted the highest number of available jobs in the two decades that the data has been tracked. Hiring has picked up, though businesses say they often can't find enough employees at the wages they're willing to pay.

At the same time, analysts are becoming concerned about the potential economic consequences of a tick-up in confirmed viral infections as the highly contagious delta variant spreads, especially among the unvaccinated. The seven-day rolling U.S. average for daily new cases accelerated over the past two weeks to more than 37,000 as of Tuesday, from fewer than 13,700, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Millions lost jobs during the pandemic and are still unemployed or left the workforce. POLITICO’s Katherine Landergan talked with a panel of experts about what’s next. Plus, Biden taps a telecom executive to be his ambassador to Canada. And Harris plans to meet with DACA recipients.

Complaints by companies that they can't find enough workers have led 22 states to prematurely end a $300-a-week federal unemployment benefit, which comes on top of state jobless aid. Twenty states have ended their participation in two other federal programs — one of which provides benefits to the self-employed and gig workers and and another that serves people who have been out of work for six months or longer.

Officials in two other states, Indiana and Maryland, had sought to end the supplemental aid programs but were blocked by court rulings. Nationally, the programs will all expire in early September.

The long-term decline in applications for jobless aid coincides with accelerating economic growth. The U.S. economy is thought to have expanded briskly during the April-June quarter as Americans, flush with cash from stimulus checks and from stock market and home equity, stepped up their spending.

Read full article at POLITICO

Gold Price Prediction - Prices Climb as Yields Drop Following Jobless Claims Data

FX Empire 22 July, 2021 - 06:14pm

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Gold prices moved higher on Thursday but remain rangebound.  Support is seen near the 20-day moving average at 1,798.  Resistance is seen near the 50-day moving average at 1,836. The consolidation is tightening and building energy. Short-term momentum is negative as the fast stochastic generated a crossover sell signal. Medium-term momentum is decelerating. The MACD histogram is printing in positive territory with a declining trajectory which points to consolidation. Despite the sideways price action, gold continues to trade in a short-term uptrend.

According to the U.S. Labor Department weekly jobless claims unexpectedly rose last week. Initial jobless claims totaled 419,000 for the week ended July 17, well above the 350,000 Expected and more than the upwardly revised 368,000 from

U.S. weekly jobless claims total 419,000 vs. 350,000 estimate

CNBC Television 22 July, 2021 - 02:10pm

Unemployment benefits claims unexpectedly rose last week

CNN 22 July, 2021 - 02:10pm

Updated 10:09 AM ET, Thu July 22, 2021

First-time jobless claims, a gauge of layoffs, unexpectedly rose to 419,000 from pandemic low as COVID-19 cases ticked higher

USA TODAY 22 July, 2021 - 08:17am

First-time applications for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose to 419,000 from a pandemic low as COVID-19 cases ticked up

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There's a wild card in the push to return to post-pandemic life: Workers don't want to go back to their old jobs. Layoffs, unemployment benefits and stimulus checks gave many Americans the time and the financial cushion to rethink their careers. (May 18) AP Domestic

WASHINGTON — The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits rose last week from the lowest point of the pandemic, even as the job market appears to be rebounding on the strength of a reopened economy.

The Labor Department said Thursday that jobless claims increased last week to 419,000, the most in two months, from 368,000 the previous week. The weekly number of first-time applications, which generally tracks layoffs, has fallen steadily since topping 900,000 in early January.

Americans are shopping, traveling and eating out more as the pandemic has waned, boosting the economy and forcing businesses to scramble for more workers. Companies have posted the highest number of available jobs in the two decades that the data has been tracked. Hiring has picked up, though businesses say they often can’t find enough employees at the wages they’re willing to pay.

At the same time, analysts are becoming concerned about the potential economic consequences of a tick-up in confirmed viral infections as the highly contagious delta variant spreads, especially among the unvaccinated. The seven-day rolling U.S. average for daily new cases accelerated over the past two weeks to more than 37,000 as of Tuesday, from fewer than 13,700, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Complaints by companies that they can’t find enough workers have led 22 states to prematurely end a $300-a-week federal unemployment benefit, which comes on top of state jobless aid. Twenty states have ended their participation in two other federal programs — one of which provides benefits to the self-employed and gig workers and and another that serves people who have been out of work for six months or longer.

Officials in two other states, Indiana and Maryland, had sought to end the supplemental aid programs but were blocked by court rulings. Nationally, the programs will all expire in early September.

The long-term decline in applications for jobless aid coincides with accelerating economic growth. The U.S. economy is thought to have expanded briskly during the April-June quarter as Americans, flush with cash from stimulus checks and from stock market and home equity, stepped up their spending.

Purchases at retail stores and restaurants rose in June, the government said last week. Retail sales are roughly 20% above pre-pandemic levels.

The early cut-offs of expanded unemployment aid have contributed to a steady decline in the number of people receiving unemployment benefits. That number fell to 12.6 million in the week ending July 3, the latest period for which data is available, down from 13.8 million the previous week.

In the last week of May, before states began ending the aid programs early, 14.8 million were receiving some form of jobless benefit.

The ranks of the jobless have declined as companies have stepped up hiring. In June, employers added a healthy 850,000 jobs, further evidence that the reopening of the economy was driving a robust recovery from the pandemic recession.

The June jobs data also suggested that workers were enjoying an advantage as companies, desperate to fill positions, offered higher wages. Average hourly pay rose a solid 3.6% compared with a year earlier. That said, the economy still has 6.8 million fewer jobs than it did before the virus erupted in March of last year.

Applications for unemployment aid are typically seen as a rough measure of the pace of layoffs. During the pandemic, though, many states were beset by fraudulent claims that distorted the data.

A watchdog report released this week found that states distributed $12.9 billion in excess unemployment benefit payments from April 2020 through this March, with about one-tenth of the amount turning out to be fraudulent. Some of the remaining money might also have involved fraud but won’t be classified as such until it is investigated.

The GAO also found that many people out of work still had to wait an extended period for their jobless aid applications to be processed and approved. Nationally, about one in 10 people who first received benefits in May had waited more than 10 weeks for it.

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US jobless claims rise to 419,000 from a pandemic low

Associated Press 22 July, 2021 - 07:38am

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits rose last week from the lowest point of the pandemic, even as the job market appears to be rebounding on the strength of a reopened economy.

The Labor Department said Thursday that jobless claims increased last week to 419,000, the most in two months, from 368,000 the previous week. The number of first-time applications, which generally tracks layoffs, has fallen steadily since topping 900,000 in early January.

Economists characterized last week’s increase as most likely a blip caused by some one-time factors and partly a result of the inevitable bumpiness in the week-to-week data. Applications for jobless aid jumped last week, for example, in Michigan, where GM has announced that it’s shutting down truck production because of supply shortages.

“I do not worry that this reading signals a sudden weakening in labor demand,” said Stephen Stanley, an economist at Amherst Pierpont Securities. “In fact, I am quite confident that it does not.”

At the same time, analysts are becoming concerned about the potential economic consequences of a tick-up in confirmed viral infections as the highly contagious delta variant spreads, especially among the unvaccinated. The seven-day rolling U.S. average for daily new cases accelerated over the past two weeks to more than 37,000 as of Tuesday, from fewer than 13,700, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Complaints by companies that they can’t find enough workers have led 22 states to prematurely end a $300-a-week federal unemployment benefit, which comes on top of state jobless aid. Twenty states have ended their participation in two other federal programs — one of which provides benefits to the self-employed and gig workers and and another that serves people who have been out of work for six months or longer.

The early cut-offs of expanded unemployment aid have contributed to a steady decline in the number of people receiving unemployment benefits. That number fell to 12.6 million in the week ending July 3, the latest period for which data is available, down from 13.8 million the previous week. More than 600,000 recipients of unemployment aid were cut off in Texas alone.

The long-term decline in applications for jobless aid coincides with accelerating economic growth. The U.S. economy is thought to have expanded briskly during the April-June quarter as Americans, flush with cash from stimulus checks and from stock market and home equity, stepped up their spending.

The June jobs data also suggested that workers were enjoying an advantage as companies, desperate to fill positions, offered higher wages. Average hourly pay rose a solid 3.6% compared with a year earlier. That said, the economy still has 6.8 million fewer jobs than it did before the virus erupted in March of last year.

Applications for unemployment aid are typically seen as a rough measure of the pace of layoffs. During the pandemic, though, many states were beset by fraudulent claims that distorted the data.

The GAO also found that many people out of work still had to wait an extended period for their jobless aid applications to be processed and approved. Nationally, about one in 10 people who first received benefits in May had waited more than 10 weeks for it.

U.S. jobless claims show surprise gain, well above expectations

CNBC 22 July, 2021 - 07:31am

Weekly jobless claims unexpected moved higher last week despite hopes that the U.S. labor market is poised for a strong recovery heading into the fall.

Initial filings for unemployment insurance totaled 419,000 for the week ended July 17, well above the 350,000 Dow Jones estimate and more than the upwardly revised 368,000 from the previous period, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

The news sent stock market futures off their highs for the morning, with Wall Street pointing to a slightly negative open. Government bond yields also edged lower.

The jobless total was the highest weekly count since May 15 and came amid expectations that the jobs picture will improve markedly as enhanced unemployment benefits end and companies get more aggressive about filling vacant positions.

On the positive side, continuing claims, which run a week behind the headline number, declined by 29,000 to 3.24 million, a fresh pandemic low. The total was last lower on March 14, 2020, just after the Covid-19 pandemic declaration and as governments across the U.S. ordered businesses to close, sending more than 22 million to the unemployment line.

The total of those receiving benefits under all government programs also declined, falling by more than 1.2 million to 12.57 million. A year ago, nearly 33 million people were collecting benefits.

Among states, Michigan saw the biggest gain, adding more than 13,000 at a time when auto production has been derailed due to a semiconductor shortage. Texas saw an increase of nearly 10,000, according to unadjusted data.

Last week's surprise increase in claims comes as fears grow over the relatively new delta variant of the coronavirus. Case counts and hospitalizations are rising, primarily among unvaccinated parts of the population, raising the specter that another wave of the disease is hitting the U.S. and the world.

New cases and hospitalizations are around the levels they were in mid-May though they remain a fraction of where they were during the winter outbreak.

Despite the surprise jump in claims last week, multiple factors point to strong potential for labor gains ahead.

Job placement site Indeed estimates that there were about 9.8 million job openings as of July 16. That compares with the 9.48 million workers that the Labor Department counted as unemployed through June, indicating plenty of opportunity for aggressive hiring ahead.

Businesses shuttered during the pandemic also are coming back at a brisk pace.

In the April-to-June period, 60,502 businesses reopened, the highest volume of the past year, according to Yelp. That total included 38,725 reopenings just in April, the quickest monthly pace since May 2020.

Of those returns, restaurants and retail businesses make up the highest portion, with more than 36,000 in that second-quarter period.

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Over 25,000 Unemployment Claims Filed In Illinois Last Week Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

CBS Chicago 22 July, 2021 - 07:22am

CHICAGO (CBS)– The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) reported  25,919 new unemployment claims were filed during the week of July 12 in Illinois, an 18% increase from the previous week when 22,004 people filed. 

Illinois’ estimated claims are among 419,000 total claims filed across the country last week.

There were 22,004 new unemployment claims were filed during the week of July 5 in Illinois.

There were 20,460 new unemployment claims filed during the week of June 21 in Illinois.

There were 23,317 new unemployment claims were filed during the week of June 14 in Illinois.

There were 29,231 new unemployment claims were filed during the week of May 31 in Illinois.

There were 15,134 new unemployment claims were filed during the week of April 26 in Illinois.

There were 17,141 new unemployment claims filed during the week of April 19 in Illinois.

CBS 2 tracked the number of people in Illinois who filed for unemployment every week to capture the economic impact of the crisis. The analysis found more than 3.3 million people have filed for unemployment with the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) in the last year alone.

IDES reported 62,369 people filed unemployment claims during the week of Feb. 8 in Illinois.

There were 40,008 new unemployment claims were filed during the week of Feb. 1 in Illinois.

There were 95,481 new unemployment claims filed during the week of Jan. 18 in Illinois.

There were 95,472 new unemployment claims filed during the week of Jan. 11 in Illinois.

There were 94,944 new unemployment claims filed during the week of Jan. 4 in Illinois.

There were 45,387 new unemployment claims were filed during the week of Dec. 27 in Illinois.

There were 110,486 claims filed in Illinois the week of Dec. 20.

There were 145,054 new unemployment claims filed across the state, the week of Dec. 13.

Illinois reported 138,359 unemployment claims during the week of Dec. 6.

There were 107,616 new unemployment claims filed in Illinois the week of Nov. 29.

Another 74,131 new unemployment claims were filed across the state the week of Nov. 22.

IDES has faced ongoing struggles filling claims during the pandemic. CBS 2 spoke with four IDES employees in May. For the first time, these workers offered a glimpse into the challenges IDES employees face daily working to get thousands of new unemployment claims processed, as well as the factors they believe contribute to why so many people have not received their benefits.

CBS 2 has extensively reported about how unemployment has surged in Illinois and neighboring states during the coronavirus pandemic.

Initial jobless claims unexpectedly climb off pandemic-era lows

Fox Business 22 July, 2021 - 07:22am

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U.S. congressional candidate Wesley Hunt, R-Texas, Marine vet Johnny Joey Jones and radio host Ken Coleman answer key questions from veterans.

The number of Americans filing for first-time jobless benefits last week unexpectedly rose from pandemic-era lows to their highest level since early June. 

The Labor Department said Thursday that 419,000 Americans filed for initial jobless benefits in the week ending July 17, above last week’s upwardly revised 368,000 filings. Wall Street analysts surveyed by Refinitiv were expecting 350,000 filings. 

"Recovery is never a perfect straight line," said Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst at Bankrate. 

Continuing claims, meanwhile, fell to 3.236 million filings in the week ending July 10, but were above the 3.1 million consensus. Continuing claims were at their lowest level since March 21, 2020. 

Continuing claims have been declining in recent weeks as about half of states ended or announced plans to end the $300 per week in supplemental unemployment before they expire in September.

Despite the job market's improving backdrop, almost 12.6 million Americans continue to receive some form of unemployment assistance. 

"That total should decline sharply in a couple of months as the federal pandemic programs expire," Hamrick said. 

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U.S. Unemployment Benefit Rolls Shrink as States Exit Pandemic Programs

The Wall Street Journal 22 July, 2021 - 04:30am

Continuing payments made through all unemployment benefit programs fell by 1.3 million in the week ended July 3, to 12.6 million, the Labor Department said Thursday. That was the lowest level since late March 2020, when new programs responding to the pandemic first came online.

In recent weeks about half of states have acted to end enhanced and extended unemployment benefits. The end of pandemic programs in Texas drove the latest decrease.

“The expectation is that this will spur more job-seeking among unemployed Texans as demand for labor improves,” said Gus Faucher, chief economist at PNC Financial Services. “Many employers have said that they would like to hire, but that the supply of workers has not kept up.”

Meanwhile, initial jobless claims, a proxy for new layoffs, rose by 51,000 to a seasonally adjusted 419,000 for the week ended July 17, the Labor Department said Thursday. The increase returned the new claims near to levels recorded in early June. The four-week moving average, which smooths out volatility in the weekly figures, increased by 750 to 385,250.

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