The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits dropped last week to 310,000, a pandemic low and an indicator that the surge in COVID-19 cases has led to massive layoffs.
- Thursday’s report revealed that jobless claims dropped from a revised figure of 345,000 from the prior week. The number of job applications has decreased steadily since rising to 900,000 in early January, reflecting the steady reopening of the U.S. economy.
- Meanwhile, the spread of the delta variant over the summer has created renewed pressure on the U.S. economy and the job market.
- The ongoing decline in applications for unemployment assistance makes clear that many companies are holding onto their workers irrespective of the economic slowdown. That trend will sustain the economic rebound.
- The rate of hiring has weakened. Last week, the hiring slowed dramatically in August, with employers only adding 235,000 jobs, after having added nearly a million in both June and July.
- Hiring plunged in industries that need face-to-face contact with the people, especially restaurants, hotels, and the retail sector. The unemployment rate fell to 5.2% from 5.4%.
An extra 2.6 million people were getting regular state unemployment assistance. These people have just lost a $300-a-week federal unemployment supplement, which also ended this week.
DXY down -0.16%, EUR USD up +0.09%Source: US Department of Labor