After the surge of losses caused by the pandemic, the job market is very slowly recovering.
According to a new report from the US Department of Labor, new filings for unemployment are on a continual decline. Compared to economist projections of 950,000 new filings, this week saw only 881,000 new filings. Meanwhile, continuing unemployment claims, while still totaling in the millions, also managed a decrease. Continuing claims dropped by 1.2 million from last week, settling at approximately 13.3 million.
A combination of companies gradually adjusting to a pandemic-sensitive model, as well as the encroachment of the typical Fall/Winter hiring surge, are helping to assuage the labor market’s problems. However, there still exist a myriad of pandemic-specific problems, both on the micro and macro level. While new unemployment claims are down overall, the number of claims specifically for pandemic unemployment assistance (PUA) has risen by 151,674 since last week, bringing the total to 759,482.
“In short, the pace of layoffs still remains very high, and it appears that the proportion of newly laid-off people quickly finding another job is falling,” Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, explained to CNBC.
In terms of individual state numbers, Florida saw the largest drop in new unemployment claims, falling by 12,312, while California experienced the largest increase in new claims, adding 39,958. Florida, however, has reported numerous problems with its state unemployment system, with many residents claiming that they have not received benefits or that the benefits they were receiving were interrupted.
Economists are currently waiting for the release of August’s nonfarm payrolls report. Economists are projecting the addition of 1.32 million new nonfarm jobs, as well as a decrease in the unemployment rate from 10.2% to 9.8%.