Monday, October 18, 2021

US unemployment claims drop to 444,000, a new pandemic

WASHINGTON (AP) – The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits dropped to 444,000 last week, a new pandemic and a sign that the labor market continues to strengthen as consumers spend freely again, virus infections fall and business restrictions ease.

The Labor Department’s report on Thursday showed that applications had declined by 34,000 from a revised 478,000 a week earlier. The number of weekly demands for the unemployed – a rough measure of the rate of redundancies – has been steadily declining since the beginning of the year.

The data release coincides with rapid movements by almost all of the country’s Republican governors to cut off a $ 300-a-week federal unemployment benefit they and many business executives the blame for discouraging the unemployed from looking for work. The cuts to federal unemployment benefits will begin in June.

Unemployed Americans were able to receive their federal benefit, which was included in President Joe Biden’s $ 1.9 billion financial rescue package, in addition to their state unemployment assistance.

Collectively, the abolition of federal unemployment assistance in the states it targets will reduce unemployment benefits for 3.5 million people, according to Oxford Economics.

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