Reports Show Major Turning Point for Jobless Claims

Reports Show Major Turning Point for Jobless Claims

( – March 11 marked the first anniversary of the World Health Organization announcement officially designating the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic. With nearly 120,000 cases affecting 114 countries and more than 4,000 deaths, there was no denying the deadly impact of the disease.

Since that time, the United States has endured its worst national health crisis in a century and the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Since the pandemic’s onset, President Trump signed two economic relief packages, the CARES Act and the Consolidated Appropriations Act, totaling roughly $4.5 trillion in 2020. President Biden signed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act on March 11, 2021.

Good News: Jobless Claims Drop

There is some good news regarding the latest unemployment figures: The United States Department of Labor issued a new report on March 11 showing that the number of Americans who filed for unemployment benefits dropped to 712,000 for the week ending on March 6.

That figure represents a drop of 42,000 applicants from the previous week’s figure of 754,000. It also represents the lowest total of applications for benefits since early November 2020. The job market has been slowly recovering in recent months. However, almost 10 million jobs have been lost since the COVID-19 pandemic ravaged the nation’s economy last year.

A total of about 4.1 million Americans continue receiving unemployment benefits at the state level. Factoring in supplemental federal programs established to assist the unemployed, about 20 million people currently collect jobless aid of some kind.

The rollout of two vaccines and the anticipated approval of a third have led to an overall easing of government restrictions leading to an economic bounce and job recovery. Consumer spending rose 2.4% in February after months of decline, representing the largest increase in 7 months.

As good as the new employment figures appear, Americans should remain cautious in their optimism moving forward. Easter is around the corner, and holiday festivities and travel have led to spikes in new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in the past.

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