US unemployment claims rise after hitting pandemic low


WASHINGTON: The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits rose last week to 332,000 from a pandemic low, a sign of worsening COVID-19 infections may have slightly increased layoffs.
Applications for unemployment assistance increased from 312,000 the previous week, the work Department he said Thursday. Unemployment claims, which generally keep pace with layoffs, have fallen steadily for two months as many employers, struggling to fill jobs, have held on to their employees. Two weeks ago, jobless claims reached their lowest level since March 2020.
Unemployment claims increased 4,000 in Louisiana, evidence that the hurricane Going It has caused widespread job losses in that state. Ida will likely affect the growth of the economy in the current July-September quarter, although repairs and reconstruction efforts are expected to recoup those losses in the coming months.
Even so, Ida closed oil refineries in Louisiana and Mississippi about two weeks ago and left more than 1 million homes and businesses without power. But Ida’s impact was limited: Jobless claims declined slightly in Mississippi.
The job market and the broader economy have been slowed in recent weeks by the delta variant, which has discouraged many Americans from traveling, staying in hotels and eating out. Earlier this month, the government reported that employers added just 235,000 jobs in August after adding about a million people in both June and July.
Hiring in August plummeted in industries that require face-to-face contact with the public, especially restaurants, hotels and retailers. Still, some jobs were added in other areas, and the unemployment rate actually dropped to 5.2% from 5.4%.
The steady drop in weekly claims for unemployment benefits coincides with a reduction in aid for unemployed Americans. Last week, more than 8 million people lost all their unemployment benefits with the expiration of two federal programs that covered concert workers and people who have been out of work for more than six months. Those emergency programs were created in March 2020, when the pandemic first tore through the economy.
An additional 2.7 million people receiving regular state unemployment assistance lost a federal unemployment supplement of $ 300 a week last week.

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