The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits increased last week to 332,000, an indicator that worsening COVID infections might have slightly increased layoffs.
- Applications for jobless assistance increased from 312,000 the week before. Jobless claims have dropped steadily for two months as many employers, struggling to fill jobs, have held onto their employees.
- Jobless claims increased 4,000 in Louisiana, evidence that Hurricane Ida has led to widespread job losses in that state.
- The job market and the broader economy have been slowed in recent weeks by the delta variant, which has discouraged many Americans from travelling, staying in hotels and eating out.
- Hiring in August declined in industries that require face-to-face contact with the public, notably restaurants, hotels, and retailers. Still, some jobs were added in other areas, and the unemployment rate actually declined to 5.2% from 5.4%.
The steady decline in weekly applications for unemployment benefits matches with a scaling-back of assistance for jobless Americans.
DXY up +0.50%, EUR USD down -0.50%Source: U.S. Department of Labor.