Key Highlights

  • New jobless claims up some 30,000 from last week to 825,000
  • New filings for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program up to 630,000 initial claims

Any way you cut it, hundreds of thousands of people are continuing to lose their jobs every single week, a good six months after the COVID pandemic smashed the US economy.

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For the past week, new unemployment benefit claims increased +30,000 from the week prior to some 825,000, according to the Department of Labor. Simultaneously, initial filings via the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program that covers freelancers, self-employed and gig workers hit 630,000.

Applications for unemployment benefits currently remain at higher levels than peak levels in many past recessions. Though improved from spring levels of unemployment, the falloff numbers of new claims has been declining very slowly in recent weeks. Ann Elizabeth Konkel, an economist with Indeed, said, Compared to April, (unemployment numbers are) trending down, but if you’re comparing to the pre-COVIS era they are still so high.”

Konkel fears that the slight letup in new unemployment benefit claims may have berry the result of warmer summer weather that enabled many businesses to shift their operations outside. Now that cooler weather is beginning to hit northern states, many of those businesses may be forced to move back inside and, with that, many businesses may be forced to lay off their workers again.

“We’re losing steam, which is definitely not good heading into the winter, “ said Konkel.

Clearly, Wall Street investors are not happy with the country’s state of unemployment as the S&P 500 fell -9.6% through Wednesday, September 23. Additionally, investors are not happy with the lack of progress in Congress on new fiscal spending or support for the pandemic unemployed.

Thanks to The New York Times.

Also read: 17th Straight Week of +1M Unemployment Claims, Q2 US Economy Plummets -32.9%, Steepest Decline Ever Reported, Podcast: Why eXp Realty, Zillow And Open Door Will Dominate Real Estate | Tim and Julie Harris