Number of U.S. workers filing for jobless aid stays near historic low

Number of U.S. workers filing for jobless aid stays near historic low

As 2021 involves an in depth, the quantity of U.S. workers filing for jobless aid is hovering near a 50-year low, underscoring how tight the labor market has turn into within the wake of a world pandemic.

Simply 205,000 folks filed for first-time unemployment advantages within the week ended December 18, unchanged from the prior week, the Labor Division stated Thursday. A complete of 1.9 million Individuals have been gathering conventional unemployment aid as of mid-December, down from 5.6 million a 12 months in the past.

The newest figures recommend that the unfold of the hyper-infectious Omicron variant has not but triggered a wave of layoffs, as has occurred with earlier waves of the coronavirus

“The data can be noisy during the holidays, but filings continue to trend down on strong demand for workers amid a labor shortage,” Rubeela Farooqi, chief U.S. economist with Excessive Frequency Economics, stated in a report. “The risk now is from new virus variants which are forcing businesses to voluntarily close in response to rising infections.”

An evaluation from Homebase, a software program supplier geared to small and midsize companies, discovered that Omicron has led to a drop in hours labored in tourism-heavy counties across the U.S. Within the 10 counties that rely most on tourism, together with New York Metropolis, Washington, D.C., Orlando and Anaheim, California, hours labored at Homebase shopper companies fell by almost 1 / 4.

Nonetheless, the tempo of job postings and hiring to date hasn’t been affected by the brand new variant, stated Jason Greenberg, head economist at Homebase.

Employers are reluctant to let workers go when it is so powerful to seek out replacements. The U.S. had a near-record 11 million job openings in October, and 4.2 million Individuals give up their jobs — simply off September’s file 4.4 million — as a result of of the abundance of alternatives.

The job market is bouncing again after a quick however intense coronavirus recession final 12 months led employers to shed 22 million jobs, pushing the unemployment fee to almost 15%. Large authorities spending and the event of COVID-19 vaccines introduced the economic system again, with the unemployment fee now at 4.2% and plenty of companies complaining of problem hiring.

Nonetheless, there are almost 4 million fewer workers within the labor pressure than earlier than COVID-19 hit, whereas rising costs and ongoing public well being issues might hamper the economic system, analysts say. Private consumption spending slowed final month as actual disposable revenue fell, a end result of ongoing worth will increase.

“With the Omicron-driven surge in virus cases likely to weigh on services spending, that sets the stage for a renewed slowdown in growth going into 2022,” Andrew Hunter, senior U.S. economist with Capital Economics, advised traders in a analysis word. 

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