The economy is slowly recovering after the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic since 1.5 Americans filed unemployment claims last week.

The numbers have continuously gone down in 10 straight weeks.

From The Wall Street Journal:

Initial unemployment claims fell to 1.5 million and workers receiving benefits fell slightly to 20.9 million in the latest week, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

Although states continue to work through a backlog of claims, new applications for unemployment benefits have trended down since the pandemic and related lockdowns triggered a surge in claims at the end of March.

As businesses reopen and some recall workers who were furloughed, the labor market appears to be picking up after millions of jobs were lost in March and April. Although unemployment is still at levels unseen in many decades, with employment down by nearly 20 million jobs since February, the jobless rate in May declined to 13.3%, and employers added 2.5 million jobs that month.

Most states saw a decrease in filings, but others saw an increase. This could indicate the states have somewhat caught up on the backlog of claims.

But others still face difficulties filing their claims:

Meanwhile, workers are still facing delays in accessing benefits. A recent survey by job search company ZipRecruiter found more than a third of individuals who applied for unemployment benefits after losing their jobs because of the pandemic were still waiting to receive payments. The survey was conducted June 1-4, and included 757 people who applied for benefits because of the pandemic and had logged into the job search site.

Since the pandemic hit the U.S. labor market, many state labor departments have reallocated staff from other departments and updated their decades-old computer systems with cloud-based technology to address a surge in claims.

Now, they are confronting new barriers to delivering unemployment payments. That includes the implementation of a new federal unemployment insurance program for independent contractors and self-employed people.

The numbers could provide ammunition for the Republicans who oppose another relief package with more unemployment benefits.

The Republicans believe the news from the falling unemployment claims and the surprising decent May jobs report shows the economy hit rock bottom and is slowly rebuilding on its own.


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