REBUILDING: Jobless Claims Hit Lowest Level Since COVID Outbreak

( President Donald Trump’s efforts to get the economy moving following the outbreak of the Chinese coronavirus appear to be working, with new jobless claims hitting the lowest level since the outbreak of the virus. Fewer than one million American workers filed for new unemployment claims in the last week of August, according to the Labor Department’s latest weekly report.

The numbers mean that the United States is still struggling with high unemployment numbers, but indicates that the impact of the virus is leveling off as American businesses start reopening in states all over the country.

According to the Labor Department, some 881,000 new claims were made in the final week of August, which was less than the 958,000 forecasted by economists. It’s also a reduction of the 1.006 million that were reported the week prior. During August the numbers hovered around the one million mark, but now appear to be making a significant shift downwards.

In March, new jobless claims hit a record of 6.87 million in one week, and up until around one month ago, the numbers were on a steady weekly decline. In July, however, the job market his a stumbling block and numbers leveled out. The fact that these figures are now heading down is an indication that the easing of lockdown restrictions in many (but not all) states are allowing businesses to recover and begin hiring or rehiring employees.

Last week, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that the way in which they report on new jobless claims in order to account for seasonal swings in employment numbers. They noted that weekly numbers shouldn’t always be compared to the previous week’s figures owing to normal trends, whereby people are expected to lose work based on seasonal job trends.

The new data also showered where people are still struggling with unemployment. The states hardest hit in the week ending August 15 included Nevada, New York, California, Connecticut, Louisiana, Georgia, the Virgin Islands, District of Columbia, and Massachusetts. Democrat states like New York and California are still subject to extensive lockdown measures, which might explain the consistently high jobless claims.

In states where lockdowns are being eased, however, things are getting better. Florida, Texas, Virginia, New Jersey, and North Carolina all explained the biggest decreases in joblessness claims, with the only real outlier in those numbers being New Jersey (owing to the state’s continued lockdown efforts).

Overall…it’s good news!