For the first time also since July, U.S. jobless claims have posted back-to-back weekly increases. The data, which was released Wednesday, Nov. 25, also shows incomes and saving have decreased.
According to Bloomberg, U.S. jobless claims for regular state programs increased by 30,000 for a total of 778,000 applications for the week which ended Nov. 21. The following week, the numbers rose again.
With coronavirus cases surging and more shutdowns imminent, economists fear the labor market will have an even tougher time rebounding.
“The continued weakness of the labor market is something that is going to drive the whole economy down,” global chief economist at Citigroup Inc. Catherine Mann told Bloomberg Television. She added that stable industries like manufacturing are “going to keep us from being in official recession, but it’s going to be very grim.”
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Bloomberg economist Eliza Winger added “If claims continue to move higher in the coming weeks, the chances of the U.S. economy tipping back into a contraction will intensify.”
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 10.8 percent of Black Americans were unemployed in October compared to 6 percent of white Americans. While the November numbers have yet to be released, if the trend continues, Black Americans will continue to be hit hardest by the pandemic.
With job cuts continuing at major corporations like Walt Disney and Exxon, U.S. jobless claims are expected to keep rising. However, some experts say there is light at the end of the tunnel with recent advances in the development of a vaccine.
“If you’re an employer right now—unlike in March or April when you’re like, ‘I don’t know when this will get better’—the near term is not great, but there really is a light at the end of a tunnel,” LinkedIn’s principal economist Guy Berger told the Wall Street Journal. “Even if the news is bad now, if you’re planning for the medium term you might still hold out and not radically pull back on hiring.”
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