Weekly Unemployment Claims Up Again at 719,000

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Sue Ogrocki/AP/Shutterstock (10706877b)People wait to speak with representatives from the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission about unemployment claims, in Midwest City, Okla.
Sue Ogrocki/AP / Shutterstock.com

The weekly number of unemployment claims’ downward trend was short-lived as the numbers creeped up again after showing a significant decrease last week.

See: Weekly Jobless Claims at 684,000, the Lowest in a Year
Find: 13 States Won’t Let You Claim Biden’s $10,200 Unemployment Tax Break

For the week ending March 27, the weekly number of unemployment claims increased to 719,000 an increase of 61,000 from the previous week’s revised level, according to the Labor Department.

The previous week’s level was revised down by 26,000, from 684,000 to 658,000.

Economists expected 675,000 workers to file for initial unemployment benefits last week, according to The Wall Street Journal.

See: As Pandemic Locked Down America, Fraudsters Used Personal Data to Scam Banks, Unemployment Offices
Find: 13 States Won’t Let You Claim Biden’s $10,200 Unemployment Tax Break

To put these figures in context, pre-pandemic, first-time unemployment benefit filers had typically numbered only about 225,000 weekly. For example, for the week ending Feb. 29, 2020, the figure stood at 217,000 claims, according to Labor Department data. However, for the corresponding week last year, for the week ending March 28,2020, claims stood at a whopping 5,985 000.

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The highly anticipated monthly job report for March will come out tomorrow and is expected to show a gain of 675,000, to follow on February’s 379,000, according to CNBC.

Yesterday, ADP reported that private sector employment increased by 517,000 jobs in March. This follows a 176,000 increase in February. The leisure and hospitality sector, one of the most battered sectors during the pandemic, added 169,000 jobs in March. Construction payrolls increased by 32,000 jobs, while hiring at factories rose by 49,000 positions, according to the ADP report.

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        About the Author

        Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.

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