Several Americans have been filing for unemployment benefits, and the claims have only been increasing for the third straight week. It has been raising concerns regarding the softening of the labor market. By the last week of September, the claims rose to 11,000. The seasonally adjusted number was 362,000, which exceeded the predicted number of 335,000 expected by the economists.
The economists have blamed several factors on the increasing claims, including wildfires in California and Hurricane Ida that caused record flooding in New York and New Jersey in early September. The increase has also been observed due to the resurgence in Covid-19 caused by the Delta variant, impacting the labor market. There are indications of the claims lowering in the coming weeks as the economic activities are likely to pace with a relaxation in the restraints due to the recent Covid-19 wave.
An economist at the Bank of America Securities in New York, Stephen Juneau, stated that the demand for services is likely to pick up the pace if the activities resurge in the coming weeks. The Republicans and the businesses have blamed the government for keeping the unemployed at home by offering millions in federally funded benefits. But as the government announces the expiration of the benefits, they have predicted that the labor demand will increase simultaneously. But the evidence suggests that the sudden and significant return of the labor force in the market is not really as people will have gotten used to the benefits by this time.
The economy created 235,000 jobs in August, but with the ongoing pandemic and lack of childcare, people were hesitant to avail themselves of the jobs. Though the pandemic is the primary factor contributing to unemployment, the government has not done much to prevent the situation. Not to forget the Keystone pipeline cancellation that canceled thousands of jobs.