For the first time (in a while now) unemployment claims fell under one million – a clear indicator of more job hiring (and re-hiring) taking place. States have reported that 881,000 U.S. workers filed for new unemployment benefits during the week ending Aug. 29. This comes after the first full month of the $600 per week enhancement for unemployment expired. So, it seems that after a brutal spring, we may be ending summer on a positive note.
Buckle Up: Looking at the #’s
Add to these figures, the total number of workers continuing to claim unemployment benefits falling to 13.2 million last week after peaking at nearly 25 million in early May, and that points to a slow, but steady improvement in the labor market. Other figures include 13.5 million people who continue to claim unemployment under the newly created Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program which provides benefits to workers previously not eligible for unemployment. New applications for unemployment benefits are still far above the pre-pandemic levels of about 200,000 claims per week.
Promising Employment Figures
Employers added 428,000 jobs in August. Leading the pack on these new jobs was the leisure and hospitality sector. That’s far below the 1.1 million estimates predicted by economists and other market experts. That said, with any slump in job numbers. we also seem dramatic increases in new job creation dating back to July. This “up and down” effect is common after an event such as a pandemic that affects just about everything. We should also note that private payrolls grew by 428,000 missing expectations of the projected 1.17 million. However, that figure is a major jump above the lackluster 212,000 measured in July. So, it seems the job market is going through a bit of a rollercoaster ride – let’s hope we experience more highs than lows.