Experts Weigh in as Unemployment Claims Rise

Unemployment Claims Spike After Reaching Historic Lows

Unemployment Claim SURGE – Is It A Warning Sign?

( – For the week ending June 4, the Department of Labor reported 229,000 unemployment claims. That number was up 27,000 from the previous week. The four-week moving average is at 215,000, marking its highest level since the middle of January, and rates have been steadily increasing since a low point earlier in the year to reach a five-month high point. Speculation is shaky on what this means for the economy.

Weekly reports provide a real-time look at what’s happening within the economy, but economists have different opinions on what it means. Some say it is too soon to make any long-term predictions, and claims are still only slightly over their level directly prior to the pandemic when we saw historic numbers. The total number of people currently collecting unemployment benefits is at a low not seen since January 1970.

Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said we should continue to watch what’s happening, but there’s no need for panic. He expects similar numbers this week, but says the numbers will trend down a bit for the rest of June.

The chief economist at FWSBONDS, Chris Rupkey, has a different opinion. He said that the numbers prove companies are letting people go as CEOs closely monitor labor costs. He said the jobless rate could go up given the current environment, where CEOs have to manage their exposure to the economic downturn by controlling spending.

So, are these numbers a warning for what’s to come, or is this just a small bump in the road that the US will move past?

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