The data represents what economists say is a disconcertingly high number of new jobless claims that persist seven months into the pandemic. Economists continue to warn about the effect to the economy from the White House and Congress’ inaction on another round of stimulus.
The economy has begun to flash more warning signs in recent weeks. Companies announcing layoffs in recent weeks include aerospace giant Raytheon, financial services company Charles Schwab, and Disney World. On Wednesday, the stock market saw one of its biggest drops in months.
An increasingly large group of people are transitioning off regular state unemployment insurance to the a temporary federal program for people whose state benefits have expired — a sign of the growing duration of joblessness for many.
Indeed Hiring Lab economist AnnElizabeth Konkel noted that the weekly claims remain more than 5 times higher pre-Covid averages.
“Today’s slight decline in total initial unemployment claims (non-seasonally adjusted) is a move in the right direction,” she said in a statement. “Initial claims continue to fall from their mid-spring peak, though the magnitude remains an issue.”