The winter pandemic resurgence and restrictions on business put in place to contain it are pushing unemployment claims. The Department of Labor reports,
In the week ending December 12, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 885,000, an increase of 23,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up by 9,000 from 853,000 to 862,000. The 4-week moving average was 812,500, an increase of 34,250 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 2,250 from 776,000 to 778,250.
The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 3.8 percent for the week ending December 5, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the previous week’s unrevised rate.
Calculated Risk reports,
There are an additional 9,244,556 receivingPandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)that increased from 8,555,763 the previous week (there are questions about these numbers). This is a special program for business owners, self-employed, independent contractors or gig workers not receiving other unemployment insurance.An additional 4,801,408 are receiving Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) that increased from 4,532,876 the previous week. These last two programs are set to expire on December 26th.This was much higher than expected, and this was for the BLS reference week for the December employment report.
.. that nine months after the virus paralyzed the economy, many employers are still slashing jobs as the pandemic forces more business restrictions and leads many consumers to stay home. The number of claims was much higher than the 800,000 that economists had expected.