The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits increased for the first time in 5 weeks despite the US economy and job market recovering slowly from the Covid-19.
- Unemployment claims increased by 4,000 to 353,000 from 349,000 a week earlier. The four-week average of claims dropped by 11,500 to 366,500 — a pandemic low.
- The weekly count has dropped more or less steadily since reaching 900,000 in early January as the vaccination campaign has helped the economy.
- But a resurgence of cases related to the highly contagious delta variant has dampened the economic outlook. The claims already remain high by historical standards.
- The job market has been rebounding with vigor since the COVID-19 pandemic hurt economic activity last year, and employers lost more than 22 million jobs in March and April 2020.
The US economy has since recovered 16.7 million jobs, and employers have added a rising number of jobs for three consecutive months, including a faster 943,000 in July.
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Source: U.S. Department of Labor