• D. Brit

US Jobless Claims Drop to 444,000 - Lowest Since Start of Pandemic


What Happened:

  • According to a report released by the Labor Department on Thursday, 444,000 Americans claimed first-time jobless benefits over the last week, a 34,000 drop from the previous week and the lowest number since the start of the pandemic last year.

  • Despite the lower than expected jobs report earlier this month, this is an encouraging sign that layoffs may be slowing down because of an improving job market.

  • With the job market seemingly heading in the right direction, 22 states, all with Republican Governors and Republican-led state legislatures, have acted to block the $300-a-week federal unemployment benefit saying that the extra money is discouraging the unemployed from seeking jobs. Florida and Kansas, two more Republican-led states, are also considering taking the same action.

  • 21 of those states say they also intend to cut off unemployment aid for the self-employed and independent contractors in the hopes that this will encourage more people to seek out jobs. These workers became eligible for aid in a relief package that was passed near the start of the pandemic.

  • Consumer spending is also up, leading economists to think that the US economy could expand as much as 7% this year.

  • Despite the positive trends, many economists are concerned that the sudden increase in consumer demand will lead to additional inflation (we have already experienced a spike in inflation this year), a concern that Wall Street also shares.


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