They are still almost a million a week….
THAT IS a lot of people hurting in the American Economy….
This IS a big issue for President Biden to have to wrestle with…
He has indicated that he is looking for another YUGE stimulus bill from Congress….
The scale of the economic challenge facing the Biden administration became more evident Thursday morning, with fresh data on initial jobless claims underscoring the continuing toll of the coronavirus on the job market.
The Labor Department reported that new claims for unemployment benefits declined last week, but they remain at extraordinarily high levels by historical standards.
New restrictions and lockdowns amid a surge in cases in many parts of the country have decimated employment in the restaurant and leisure and entertainment industries, with little relief in sight.
“The message is the same — the labor market is extremely weak,” said Rubeela Farooqi, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics. “It’s going to be pretty rough over the next several months.”
The Labor Department said 961,000 workers filed initial claims for state unemployment benefits last week. A further 424,000 claims were filed for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, an emergency federal program for freelancers, part-time workers and others normally ineligible for state jobless benefits. Neither figure is seasonally adjusted. On a seasonally adjusted basis, new state claims totaled 900,000.
The beginning of vaccinations in December provided optimism about a quick turnaround, but the slow rollout in many parts of the country has set back those hopes. On the other hand, the passage of a $900 billion stimulus package late last year and the prospect of more aid under the Biden administration have allayed fears of a double-dip recession….