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Weekly Jobless Claims Increase; Continuing Claims Drop

Weekly jobless claims in the United States have increased by 11,000 for the week that ended on September 25, signaling that the labor market is still attempting to recovery even as COVID-19 cases surge around the nation. However, continuing unemployment claims have dropped in the past week by about 18,000 claims, while unadjusted claims for the week also decreased. 

The latest job market report from the Labor Department signals that this increase in weekly jobless claims is mainly because California recently moved people to another unemployment program run by the federal government. This was expected to result in overall claims increasing, though economists did anticipate that continuing claims would not rise. As a result, while jobless claims did increase for the week, continuing claims did not, and it does appear as if the labor market is still on its way towards recovery, even with prominent issues affecting the workforce and overall economy. 

While many of these additions in jobless claims can be a result of this move in California, there does still seem to be an increase in workers filing for unemployment across the nation, however slight it may be. This slight increase in claims could be a result of COVID-19 cases that is still continuing to cause infections to surge around the nation. Many companies in the United States may have had to lay off workers because demand has fallen. Consumer confidence has also fallen, which could continue to affect how people spend at businesses — and this could negatively impact the economy. 

However, there are many signs that infections may be slowing down, which would help with economic activity overall. If consumer confidence is thereby increased again as infections go down, then it is likely weekly jobless claims will not increase as much as it did earlier in 2021.

According to new data from the Labor Department, weekly jobless claims increased only by 11,000 to about 362,000 for the week. Continuing claims, meanwhile, dropped by 18,000 to 2.082 million.

Many of these claims are believed to be because of this California move. Claims in California ended up increase by almost 18,000. However, there were also rises in weekly jobless claims in Michigan and Texas. Meanwhile, Virginia, Arizona, Ohio, Maryland, and Louisiana all experienced big decreases in filings for the week.

While weekly jobless claims have increased, many economists still feel very hopeful that the labor market is on its way towards recovery. These slight increases are expected, as the economy is still fluctuating because of the global pandemic. Plus, certain problems that have occurred because of the pandemic — such as raw material shortages and global supply chain issues — could also be impacting business activity, and therefore could keep causing layoffs until fixed.

However, there are many signs that the economy will continue to experience growth, even with these major issues. Economists are optimistic that the labor market will continue to recover for the rest of the year, and into the next.

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