Weekly Jobless Claims Shoot Back Up

Roy Maurer By Roy Maurer July 22, 2021
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​New weekly unemployment claims reversed course during the week ending July 17, as the labor market continues to recover from COVID-19 and its more recent Delta variant. States reported that 419,000 workers filed for new unemployment benefits, an increase of 51,000 from the previous week's revised level and well above expectations.

First-time jobless claims have been declining since the start of the year and are well below where they were last year, but are still above the average number of claims from before the pandemic, when they amounted to about 220,000 per week. The total number of workers continuing to claim state unemployment benefits fell to 3.2 million, just shy of where it was in March 2020.

About 12.5 million people overall are receiving some type of unemployment aid, down from over 30 million a year earlier.

As the labor market continues to improve, half the states will have terminated enhanced federal unemployment benefits provided since early in the crisis by the end of this month. Federal benefits expire for the remaining states in September. 

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