About 898,000 Americans filed their first applications for unemployment benefits last week, the US Department of Labor said Oct. 15.
The federal authorities have linked the increase in the number of those who have lost their jobs to the fact that the incidence of COVID-19 in the United States is growing and many states and counties are imposing restrictions on doing business.
Based on this latest data, the number of initial jobless claims filed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic has been seasonally adjusted to approximately 64.5 million вЂ” more than the combined population of California and Florida.
The number of applications filed last week by the US Department of Labor rose from the revised 845,000 in the previous week and exceeded the expectations of economists who had predicted 825,000 new applications for unemployment benefits. But the data could have been distorted since no reports were received from California: the state authorities decided to first work out the accumulated claims and introduce technology to protect against fraud.
Permanent (renewable) claims, which measure current unemployment with a one-week delay, fell to about 10 million in the week ending October 3. They show the total number of unemployed people in the United States receiving benefits.
Experts attribute the steady decline in this figure to the fact that unemployment benefits in the United States are provided for no more than 26 weeks, and those who lost their jobs in March-early April have already exhausted these 26 weeks. This does not mean that they have found a job. The statistics also do not include illegal migrants who are in the United States and worked before the crisis, but do not have the right to benefits and are not taken into account by statistics.
Initial jobless claims have been hovering between 800,000 and 900,000 for seven straight weeks as the labor market recovery from the virus crisis has slowed sharply due to a new outbreak. The total number of applications last week remained well above the pre-pandemic record of 695,000 applications in one week.
Recall that US President Donald Trump promised his voters a quick economic recovery and many new jobs in the spring and summer. But in September, despite the fact that more than 3 million jobs were eliminated, only 660 thousand vacancies were created. The rise in unemployment could lead to the refusal of Trump's voters to go to the polls and the loss of the US president.