“Many workers laid off this spring expected to return to their jobs fairly quickly. Those laid off in recent weeks are more likely to have seen their position eliminated.”
The U.S. unemployment claims last week went up by 137,000 from the previous week to 853,000.
Continuing claims, which saw a decreasing pattern, increased by 230,000 to 5.76 million.
Experts expected 730,000 claims:
This was the highest weekly total since Sept. 19 and reflects the job market’s struggles lately as coronavirus cases have spiked and local and state governments have imposed restrictions on some activities.
Continuing claims increased by 230,000 to 5.76 million, the first time that number has gone up since late August.
Markets reacted little to the news, with Wall Street indicating a slightly lower open for stocks.
The rise in virus cases has put substantial pressure on the labor market, with nonfarm payrolls increasing just 245,000 in November after rising 610,000 in October.
Those difficulties were reflected further in unadjusted jobless claims, which totaled 947,504, a 31.9% increase from the previous week. Seasonal factors were pointing to a 12.9% increase, the Labor Department said.
Some states have instilled new lockdowns as COVID-19 cases surge in some cities.
Supply and demand. Andy Challenger at Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc., stated that new jobs do not mean job destruction has ended. People keep losing their jobs “because demand has not returned.”
Most places, especially restaurants, already faced a harsh winter due to occupancy limits and rules forcing only outdoor dining:
Mr. Challenger said recent layoffs have occurred in the entertainment and leisure industry, including at restaurants, as well as at retailers and in the transportation sector, at employers including airlines and transit authorities. Many workers laid off this spring expected to return to their jobs fairly quickly. Those laid off in recent weeks are more likely to have seen their position eliminated, Mr. Challenger said.
“When someone is let go today, that means the company doesn’t see that job existing for a while,” he said.
A few sectors like finance, accounting, and technology sectors have plenty of openings. But Paul McDonald, who works at professional staffing firm Robert Half International Inc., said:
“We’re still seeing strong demand,” he said. “But those with jobs are reluctant to leave.” He said some fear they will lose seniority and be at greater risk for a layoff if the economy weakens. While total job loss this year was much higher than in the 2007-2009 recession, the finance sector has been less affected, and many firms are hiring, Mr. McDonald said, to keep up with demand for mortgage refinancing and home and auto loans.
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