New filings for jobless claims in America totaled 787,000 last week, marking nearly the lowest it’s been since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in March. Once the global health crisis hit America, citizens were losing their jobs by the millions every week, now, as the pandemic continues on and election day gets closer and closer, individuals are gearing up for an unpredictable rest of the year; luckily the entire year has prepared us for that.
Economists surveyed by Dow Jones were initially projecting the claims to hit 875,000 by the end of the week of October 11th, the nearly 100,000 difference is huge for the professionals who have been closely monitoring the economy since it began to dwindle in march.
Last week’s total marks the second-lowest new claim amount since March 14th; in seven months. March 14th also marked the first week that companies and businesses across the country began laying off their employees to cope with the initial economic impact of the first shutdown efforts.
The previous week – October 3rd – saw 842,000 claims, meaning there was a 55,000 decrease in claims this week. One of the biggest reasons for this decline in claims is likely due to the fact that a lot of workers in America have now exhausted their regular benefits and are moving to the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance emergency compensation program.
During the week of October 3rd 509,828 Americans filed to receive compensation from the Pandemic Assistance program, bringing the total number of citizens using the program up to 3.3 million. The recipients in this program get an extra 13 weeks of financial compensation once they’ve gone through their initial 26 weeks of eligibility.
Continuous claims are also declining in America, meaning the individuals who are filing jobless claims for two or more weeks consecutively are also going down. That level dropped by 1.02 million citizens to 8.37 million individuals receiving continuous payments. Ian Shepherdscon is a chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics who recently spoke with the media about the improvement that comes along with these declining rates.
“Some people no longer claiming benefits may have dropped out of the labor force, while some might have taken non-payroll gig or freelance jobs. Moreover, continuing claims lag initial claims, so if initial claims start rising again, continuing claims will follow.”
Claims initially surged the week of March 21st amid the government imposed lockdowns that appeared all across the nation. In late March the weekly total of jobless claims peaked at 6.9 million. Since the beginning of the pandemic about 11.5 million people have become employed after being laid off for pandemic-related reasons, however, a little more than half of the total number of citizens who lost their jobs due to Covid-19 are still unemployed.
Opposing factions in the nation’s government have delayed another round of stimulus payments from being distributed to Americans, however, a deal is likely to come into fruition before election day.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at email@example.com.