Reuters File Photo: April 15, 2021, People line up outside a newly reopened career center for personal appointments in Louisville, USA. Reuters / Amira Karaud
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose unexpectedly last week, even as the labor market continued to recover.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 1,000,000 to 151,000 in the week ended Sept. 1, the Department of Labor said Thursday.
Ida, which landed in late August, disrupted U.S. coastal power generation and cut off power to Louisiana. One of the strongest hurricanes to hit the Gulf Coast, it soaked Mississippi and caused record flooding in New York and New Jersey.
Economists surveyed by Reuters forecast 320,000 applications for the last week. At the beginning of April 2020, claims fell to a record 1.149 million, but still remained above the 200,000-250,000 range, consistent with healthy labor market conditions.
The Federal Reserve on Wednesday issued a bullish note to the economy, paving the way for a reduction in its monthly bond purchases “soon” and indications that interest rate hikes may be faster than expected.
Last week’s claims data covered the period during which the government surveyed employers for the non-firm pay-roll portion of the September employment report.
Pay-rolls posted their smallest profit in seven months amid high communications retirement and the stagnation of recruitment in the hospitality sector as job-driven infections increased by delta variations of the coronavirus slowed job growth in August.
Epidemic-related factors are creating labor shortages, which are hindering recruitment. Fed Chair Jerome Powell told reporters he expected “faster gains in employment” because these factors, including the lack of affordable child care and the risk of contracting the virus, were reduced.
At the end of July there were a record 10.9 million job opportunities. The Fed estimates the unemployment rate at 4.8% this year. This is higher than the 4.5% rate expected by the US Federal Reserve in June. The unemployment rate in August was 5.2%.
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