Jobless Claims Much Worse Than Expected: February

Economists expected claims to fall to 768,000 from 793,000 which had initially been reported for the first week of February. That number 793,000 had to be revised up to 848,000 that is a 55,000 increase in the jobless claims than was previously thought.

Jobless claims which are caused by the massive layoffs remain at high levels. Prior to the pandemic and shutdowns, the highest level of claims was 695,000 which was in October of 1982. Even in March of 2009 at the height of the financial crisis with a recession jobless claims only peaked at 665,000 claims.

Even when the economy is good and creating demand for workers and supply for businesses, many businesses lose or gain workers due to adjusting to market conditions. In the past even in high pressure markets its not uncommon for employees to find another job quickly and therefore don’t show up on the unemployment rolls. What is happening lately workers losing their jobs cannot find another job quickly enough due to business closures and rapid layoffs and are being forced to apply for benefits.

Even last year during the pandemics peak we saw a record high of 6.87 million for the week of March 27, 2020 which was more than ten times the previous record. While President Trump was in office through the pandemic, we had seen declines in those claims through spring and early summer. In August of 2020 as shutdowns continued the country saw jobless claims linger at 1.104 million compared to 2019 in Trumps roaring economy when it was only 209,000 for the which was a decrease of 12,000 prior to that.

Due to the cares act which offers those not ordinarily eligible for unemployment benefits; the option of having benefits. These new programs and recipients such as self-employed workers, clergy, and small business owners brought the total number of claims to in all programs to 18,340,161 for week ending January 30th this was a 1,325,567 decrease from the previous week.

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