A month ago everyone was rocked with jobless numbers that seem to point to people NOT wanting to go back to work….
Oh, and 22 states are cutting the extra $300 a week unemployment benefit….2 more are thinking about it…They are Republican led states….
The number of Americans seeking unemployment aid fell last week to 444,000, a new pandemic low and a sign that the job market keeps strengthening as consumers spend freely again, viral infections drop and business restrictions ease.
Thursday’s report from the Labor Department coincides with moves by nearly all the nation’s Republican governors to cut off a $300-a-week federal unemployment benefit that they and many business executives blame for discouraging the unemployed from seeking jobs. Those cutoffs of federal jobless aid will begin in June. Jobless people have been able to receive the $300 weekly benefit on top of their regular state unemployment aid.
In addition to ending the federal benefit, most of the same states are also withdrawing from programs that provided jobless aid to self-employed or gig workers and to people who have been unemployed for more than six months….
Thursday’s data release showed that applications for unemployment benefits declined 34,000 from a revised 478,000 a week earlier. The number of weekly jobless claims — a rough measure of the pace of layoffs — has declined steadily since the year began.
About 16 million people were receiving unemployment benefits during the week ending May 1, the latest period for which data is available, the government said Thursday. That is down from 16.9 million in the previous week, and it suggests that some Americans who had been receiving aid have found jobs.
Eliminating the $300-a-week federal unemployment benefit is one of several measures that states have taken to restrict or eliminate jobless aid and press more recipients to seek work. That trend gained momentum after the April jobs report, released earlier this month, showed that employers added far fewer jobs than expected, in part because many couldn’t find enough workers….