Unemployment benefits claims unexpectedly rose last week

Unemployment benefits claims unexpectedly rose last week

Posted: Jul 22, 2021 10:10 AM
Updated: Jul 22, 2021 10:11 AM

Claims for US jobless benefits unexpectedly jumped last week offering the latest reminder that the American economy — and the labor market — are not yet back to normal.

Weekly jobless claims stood at 419,000, adjusted for seasonal swings, according to the Labor Department, climbing by more than 50,000 and exceeding economists' expectations.

The disappointing figure is the highest claims level since mid-May. Last week was also the survey week for the government's jobs report, making the timing of the data disappointment even more notable.

Stripping out the seasonal adjustments, the increase from the prior week is smaller — but it's still an uptick.

Claims filed under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, which was created by Congress to combat the Covid-19 mass joblessness, rose by nearly 14,000 counts to 110,257 without seasonal adjustments.

Adding all first-time claims together, they stood at 516,000 last week without seasonal adjustments.

Andrew Stettner, senior fellow at The Century Foundation, noted that initial claims have "plateaued around 500,000 per week," adding that the Covid-19 "Delta variant threatens the labor market recovery as businesses in hard hit areas could be forced to curtail operations and shed positions if new restrictions are needed."

Jobless claims data has been notoriously noisy during the pandemic as millions of workers lost their jobs and fraudulent benefit applications distorted numbers. Last week's figures could also suffer from adjustment issues because of the timing of car makers' annual retooling shutdowns, said Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics

Nevertheless, the quickly spreading Delta variant and its effect on the economy's recovery is the worry of the moment.

It "likely will slow the pace of economic growth locally for a while, but the national picture probably won't suffer much," wrote Shepherdson in a note to clients.

US stock futures slipped on the surprising report and stocks opened mixed. The Dow was flat, while the S&P 500 inched up 0.1%. The Nasdaq Composite traded 0.3% higher.

Continued jobless claims, which count people who have applied for benefits for at least two weeks in a row, inched down to 3.2 million from 3.3 million in the week ended July 10.

In the week ended July 3, 12.6 million Americans claimed benefits under the governments various programs, a decrease of 1.3 million from the week before.

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Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 482902

Reported Deaths: 9425
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison33063488
Hinds31021589
DeSoto30610358
Jackson23687348
Rankin21340370
Lee14909220
Madison14166271
Jones13404227
Forrest13160240
Lauderdale11601305
Lowndes10443176
Lamar10214130
Pearl River9098221
Lafayette8241137
Hancock7514112
Washington7102150
Oktibbeha6964124
Monroe6514164
Neshoba6475201
Warren6464164
Pontotoc630393
Panola6250126
Marshall6126123
Bolivar6115144
Union574186
Pike5613136
Alcorn537290
Lincoln5303131
George471472
Scott459196
Leflore4476140
Prentiss446779
Tippah446480
Itawamba4444100
Adams4416116
Tate4394101
Simpson4335112
Wayne433066
Copiah431787
Yazoo423386
Covington415792
Sunflower4148104
Marion4099104
Leake397586
Coahoma3957100
Newton370875
Grenada3556104
Stone350860
Tishomingo336289
Attala325387
Jasper314162
Winston304691
Clay296473
Chickasaw287065
Clarke282190
Calhoun266141
Holmes262187
Smith250649
Yalobusha221047
Tallahatchie220450
Walthall211058
Greene209045
Lawrence206833
Perry199953
Amite198452
Webster196542
Noxubee178939
Montgomery172454
Jefferson Davis168342
Carroll162137
Tunica153334
Benton142535
Kemper138640
Choctaw127026
Claiborne126834
Humphreys126637
Franklin116728
Quitman103926
Wilkinson101936
Jefferson91333
Sharkey63020
Issaquena1926
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 787421

Reported Deaths: 14022
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1114521765
Mobile708161234
Madison49744633
Baldwin36201495
Shelby36186315
Tuscaloosa33818548
Montgomery33135678
Lee22590220
Calhoun21140410
Morgan19795335
Etowah19188462
Marshall17659274
Houston16788386
St. Clair15408305
Cullman14568258
Limestone14553188
Elmore14444264
Lauderdale13486281
Talladega12932236
DeKalb12174237
Walker10561330
Blount9693157
Autauga9652137
Jackson9363158
Coffee8847175
Dale8584173
Colbert8508184
Tallapoosa6661181
Escambia6585121
Covington6432167
Chilton6372144
Russell605355
Franklin5779101
Chambers5398134
Marion4789120
Dallas4694189
Clarke462279
Pike461597
Geneva4396117
Winston425295
Lawrence4112108
Bibb408581
Barbour346570
Marengo326285
Butler318190
Monroe318153
Randolph305256
Pickens304474
Henry301358
Hale292285
Cherokee289455
Fayette279073
Washington245248
Crenshaw237970
Cleburne235251
Clay228365
Macon219258
Lamar196243
Conecuh181846
Lowndes170758
Coosa169935
Wilcox159736
Bullock149243
Perry136437
Sumter124436
Greene121243
Choctaw73427
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