The number of new applications for unemployment benefits has risen by 37,000 from last week to 412,000, according to a new report by the Labor Department released on Thursday.
For those who might not know, the number of new jobless claims is representative of individuals who have filed for unemployment benefits over the course of the last week. The new number ended up being way more than forecasters had originally expected. The original number that was predicted was 359,000, which is significantly lower than what we actually got.
Weekly jobless claims are being watched closely as the U.S. economy recovers because recent monthly jobs reports have been less than stellar and have added to concerns that the country could be in the throes of a labor shortage.
The economy fell slightly short of expectations last month and added 559,000 new jobs, a number that was below the 650,000-consensus level but was still far more positive than the surprisingly bad report from the month before. Only 278,000 jobs were added in April, a figure way below predictions of nearly 1 million additional jobs.
This week’s jobless claims report is also notable because it is the first after some states have begun opting out of the federal government’s $300-per-week expanded unemployment insurance program, which critics assert has been holding back the labor force by incentivizing collection of the increased benefits.
The benefits program has been destroying the country, but that is by no means the fault of individuals who are in need of assistance. It’s a measure that was put in place by Democrats who caused severe economic hardship with the shutdowns they put in place to try and curb the spread of the coronavirus.
If we want to get back on track, the program has to end.