Last week, new applications for unemployment benefits in the United States reached a one-month high, but the surge looked to be due primarily to California catching up on a backlog of claims, rather than any deterioration in the US economy.
According to the Labor Department, 351,000 Americans filed for first-time unemployment benefits in the week ending September 18, up from 335,000 in the previous week’s upwardly revised figure. Refinitiv polled analysts, who predicted 320,00 new filings.
“Despite the rise, claims are still near a pandemic-era low,” said Chris Giamo, head of commercial banking at TD Bank.
Labor is in high demand in the US economy. What it lacks is a sufficient number of people willing to return to work.
Since early this year, the economy has developed significantly, and firms are keen to fill a record number of job positions. Their major issue is a lack of qualified staff.
The rise in new claims came a week after extra unemployment benefits of $300 per week expired.
Unemployment benefits were obtained by over 11.25 million Americans last week, a decrease of almost 856,000 from the previous week. During the same week in 2020, more than 26.6 million Americans applied for benefits.
“For those ready to return to work following a period of displacement or unemployment, there are a record number of open jobs awaiting,” Giamo said.
According to the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey issued earlier this month, there were 10.9 million job openings in July.