Weekly Jobless Claims Hold Against Delta Surge

Roy Maurer By Roy Maurer September 16, 2021
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woman laid off

​States reported that 332,000 workers filed for new unemployment benefits during the week ending September 11, an increase of 20,000 from the previous week's revised level but near the lowest level since the pandemic took hold in the U.S. in March 2020. Although new claims are down significantly from this time last year, they are still elevated compared to their 2019 weekly average of just over 200,000. Jobless claims have trended lower since mid-July, despite a rise in COVID-19 cases tied to the spread of the delta variant and weaker-than-expected job growth in August.

The total number of workers continuing to claim state unemployment benefits fell to 2.6 million. The trending decline in jobless claims is evidence that hiring difficulty has been the bigger drag on the labor market in recent months, rather than layoffs and separations.

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