The Department of Labor reported that unemployment claims in America increased for the first time last week from 37,000 to 412,000. The previous week’s level decreased by 1,000 from 376,000 to 375,000. With the four-week average number at 395,000, which is a decline of 8,000 from the earlier week’s revised average. This was the lowest level since March 14, 2020, when it was 225,500.
Although the new numbers have increased, bringing the weekly reading to more than 400,000, the steady decline in the monthly average is good news for the job market, which is struggling to fill more than 9 million job vacancies. Companies in several industries are struggling to recruit workers, limiting their ability to cope with an economy that is recovering quickly from the coronavirus pandemic.
There are many reasons why some workers are hesitant to return to the workplace. These include persistent fear of the COVID-19 disease, a lack of suitable child care, a mismatch of skills between workers and jobs. Along with more unemployment benefits that discourage workers in low-paying jobs.
Some 24 states in the USA have announced they will terminate the enhanced unemployment benefits before September which is earlier than the planned end of the program. Currently it adds $300 a week to the regular state unemployment assistance. A few states have already done so, with more planning to terminate them this week.
Nate Smith, CEO of software company Lever, said that the company is worried about what he calls ” the great departure”. This he says is because knowledge workers have found what is most important to them during more than a year of working remotely. “A lot of employers are really worried about this,” he said, adding, “while working hard to grow.”
Source: US News