Washington (Associated Press)-The number of people applying for unemployment benefits in the United States has risen for the third consecutive week, indicating that the highly contagious delta variable may be slowing the recovery of the job market.
According to the Labor Department, the initial jobless claims increased unexpectedly by 11,000 to 362,000. However economists expected the opposite. For the first time in seven weeks, the 4-week moving average of unemployment claim numbers that removed weekly fluctuations rose from 340,000 to 340,000.
The number of applications has steadily declined since January when it crossed 900,000. However, the number of applications has been rising due to the coronavirus.
The number of applications to be laid off for these representatives is still high. Prior to the March 2020 pandemic that ravaged the United States, they were receiving approximately 220,000 per week.
As the coronavirus outbreak — and the shutdown designed to contain it — has brought economic activity to a near halt, US employers have rapidly increased hiring after they laid off 22 million jobs in March 2020 and April 2020. Around 17 million jobs have been restored since then, with businesses opening or extending business hours and Americans returning to bars and restaurants.
Due to the disruption caused by the delta variable, the average monthly employment rate of more than 585k this year has slowed down to just 235,000 in August. Last month saw nearly 42,000 people lose their jobs at bars and restaurants, which is the first drop this year. It is expected that the number of applicants this month will rise to more than 560,000. Next week, the Ministry of Labor plans to release its September employment report.
In a research report, Contingent Macro Advisors stated that technical factors—seasonal adjustments and California’s processing backlog, with claims soaring by nearly 18,000—are responsible for the increase in applications last week. “In general, the surge in unemployment claims in the past three weeks deserves close attention, but it is not yet a cause for concern,” the task force said.
The total number of Americans receiving unemployment benefits in the week ending September 18 was 2.8 million, an increase of 18,000 over the previous week. Earlier this month, the federal government stopped additional aid — including $300 a week in addition to traditional state benefits — aimed at alleviating the economic impact of the pandemic.