Sumary of Unemployment Benefit Rolls Shrink, But New Applications Rise:
- The number of Americans receiving jobless payments fell this month to the lowest level since early in the coronavirus pandemic, but first-time applications rose as supply constraints persist in the auto industry.
- Continuing payments made through all unemployment benefit programs fell by 1.3 million in the week ended July 3, to 12.6 million, the Labor Department said Thursday.
- ” Meanwhile, initial jobless claims, a proxy for new layoffs, rose by 51,000 to a seasonally adjusted 419,000 for the week ended July 17, the Labor Department said Thursday.
- The four-week moving average, which smooths out volatility in the weekly figures, increased by 750 to 385,250. Economists said the increase could reflect seasonal adjustment variations in the data, which is typical in July, when the timing of the Independence Day holiday and scheduled factory shutdowns vary year to year.
- Kentucky, another state with auto plants, also reported a large rise in new jobless claims.
- “Typically you’d see some plant shutdowns in autos, as well as other industries in the early part of July.
- Despite last week’s increase, initial jobless claims and continuing payments have both trended down this year, largely reflecting an improving economy and steady hiring.
- Overall benefit payments had surged in the spring of 2020, as millions of laid-off workers sought aid through state programs and others tapped programs established in response to the rise in unemployment during the pandemic.