While the latest claims figures show gradual improvement, they’re still well above pre-pandemic levels.(AP Photo)
While the latest claims figures show gradual improvement, they’re still well above pre-pandemic levels.(AP Photo)

US jobless claims drop, offering ray of hope for labor market

Initial jobless claims in regular state programs decreased by 75,000 to 712,000 in the week ended Nov. 28, the first drop in three weeks, Labor Department data showed Thursday.
By Bloomberg | Posted by Srivatsan K C
UPDATED ON DEC 03, 2020 09:15 PM IST

Applications for US state unemployment benefits fell by the most in almost two months, offering some hope that the gradual recovery in the job market will continue despite a spike in Covid-19 infections and renewed business restrictions.

Initial jobless claims in regular state programs decreased by 75,000 to 712,000 in the week ended Nov. 28, the first drop in three weeks, Labor Department data showed Thursday. Without adjustments for seasonal fluctuations, applications dropped by about 122,000 during the period.

Continuing claims -- the total pool of Americans on state unemployment benefits -- declined 569,000 to 5.52 million in the week ended Nov. 21.

The main figures were below economists’ projections for 775,000 initial claims and 5.8 million continuing claims, based on the median estimates in Bloomberg surveys. One caveat: seasonal adjustments on claims data tend to be trickier around holidays, and last week included Thanksgiving, making it important to see if the trend holds.

While the latest claims figures show gradual improvement, they’re still well above pre-pandemic levels. The labor market also remains challenged by a rising number of Covid-19 cases and a tightening of business restrictions in parts of the US Some industries such as travel, leisure and hospitality are still depressed by the pandemic and could cut jobs more aggressively in the absence of additional fiscal relief.

The data show a labor market that “continues to progress through the pandemic, but still has a long road to a complete recovery,” Ian Lyngen, head of US rates strategy at BMO Capital Markets, said in a note.

US stocks were little changed at the open, while 10-year Treasury yields fell along with the dollar.

All but 10 states and territories posted unadjusted declines in initial claims last week, with some of the biggest drops occurring in California, Texas, Michigan and Georgia. Illinois, Oregon and Indiana reported the largest increases in filings during the holiday week.

Adjustment Issues

“The plunge in initial claims does not refute the idea that the trend is rising; we expected a sharp fall because of the difficulty of adjusting for Thanksgiving,” Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, wrote in a note. He had forecast claims of 725,000.

The government’s monthly jobs report on Friday is projected to show payrolls grew by about 475,000 in November, still solid yet the smallest gain in seven months, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists. The jobless rate is forecast to tick down to 6.8% from 6.9%.

A report on Wednesday from ADP Research Institute showed that companies in the US added fewer jobs than expected in November, a sign that businesses are slowing down the rate of hiring as coronavirus cases reach new levels.

Continuing claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, a program that provides benefits to self-employed and gig workers, decreased about 339,000 to 8.87 million in the week ended Nov. 14. This number, though, is inflated by multiple-counting and fraud, according to a government watchdog’s report this week, and the Labor Department plans to add a disclaimer.

More people have moved into extended programs like Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, but these were put in place by the Cares Act will expire by year-end and leave millions of people without government aid. The number of Americans on PEUC assistance rose slightly to 4.57 million in the week ended Nov. 14.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
app
Close
Covid-19 was first detected in the central city of Wuhan in late 2019, before seeping beyond China's borders to wreak global havoc, costing more than two million lives and eviscerating economies.(REUTERS)
Covid-19 was first detected in the central city of Wuhan in late 2019, before seeping beyond China's borders to wreak global havoc, costing more than two million lives and eviscerating economies.(REUTERS)

Pandemic response probe team says WHO, China could have acted faster

AFP, Geneva
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 10:33 PM IST
  • The panel also criticised WHO for dragging its feet at the start of the crisis, pointing out that the UN health agency had not convened its emergency committee until January 22, 2020.
Close
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at the National Press Club in Washington. (REUTERS)
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at the National Press Club in Washington. (REUTERS)

China calls Pompeo 'Mr. Liar'; dismisses charge against Wuhan’s bio-lab

PTI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 10:26 PM IST
The state department document also alleged that "for many years the United States has publicly raised concerns about China’s past biological weapons work, which Beijing has neither documented nor demonstrably eliminated.
Close
HT Image
HT Image

US Capitol lockdown lifted after fire in homeless camp brought under control

By hindustantimes.com, HT Correspondent
UPDATED ON JAN 18, 2021 10:33 PM IST
  • US Capitol lockdown lifted after authorities bring fire in homeless camp under control, reports AP
Close
US President Donald Trump arrives for the Independence Day events at Mount Rushmore National Memorial in Keystone, South Dakota, on July 3, 2020. (AFP file)
US President Donald Trump arrives for the Independence Day events at Mount Rushmore National Memorial in Keystone, South Dakota, on July 3, 2020. (AFP file)

Trump to issue 100 pardons, to leave for Florida before Biden inauguration

By Yashwant Raj , edited by Vinod Janardhanan
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 10:11 PM IST
Trump reviewed the pardons with his son-in-law Jared Kushner, daughter Ivanka Trump, both senior White House aides, and other officials for most of the day on Sunday, the Washington Post reported citing sources. Announcements are expected on Monday or Tuesday.
Close
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan(AP)
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan(AP)

Pak PM Imran pitches for border markets with Afghanistan, Iran

PTI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 10:08 PM IST
Khan chaired a review meeting here to discuss the establishment of such markets to provide job opportunities to local people and to control smuggling, according to his office.
Close
US President-elect Joe Biden delivers remarks as Vice President-elect Kamala Harris looks on during a televised speech on the current economic and health crises,(REUTERS)
US President-elect Joe Biden delivers remarks as Vice President-elect Kamala Harris looks on during a televised speech on the current economic and health crises,(REUTERS)

Biden aims for unifying speech at daunting moment for US

PTI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 09:41 PM IST
With the coronavirus raging, unemployment claims soaring and partisan divisions sharpening, Biden faces a fraught moment as he prepares to deliver a speech that aides say he wants to use to “call Americans to unity.”
Close
A vial and syringe are seen in front of a displayed AstraZeneca logo.(Reuters)
A vial and syringe are seen in front of a displayed AstraZeneca logo.(Reuters)

Bhutan to receive Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine from India

ANI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 09:41 PM IST
This comes after the Nepal Government approved the emergency use of the 'Covishield' vaccine last week, which is being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India (SII).
Close
High-level security officials make a survey of the East Front of the Capitol after an announcement of security problems during inauguration rehearsal.(AP)
High-level security officials make a survey of the East Front of the Capitol after an announcement of security problems during inauguration rehearsal.(AP)

US Capitol lockdown lifted after fire in homeless camp prompts security concerns

AP
UPDATED ON JAN 18, 2021 09:45 PM IST
Four law enforcement officials said that there had been a blaze several blocks over and the rehearsal was evacuated in an abundance of caution.
Close
The evacuation of some participants and the lockdown were ordered by the acting chief of Capitol Police in an abundance of caution, officials said.(REUTERS)
The evacuation of some participants and the lockdown were ordered by the acting chief of Capitol Police in an abundance of caution, officials said.(REUTERS)

Inauguration rehearsal evacuated after fire in homeless camp

AP
UPDATED ON JAN 18, 2021 10:01 PM IST
  • Law enforcement officials said there was no threat to the public and the fire was not believed to be a threat to the inauguration.
Close
A Sri Lankan Christian family grieves as municipal cemetery workers carry the body of their family member who died of Covid-19 for cremation in Colombo, Sri Lanka.(AP)
A Sri Lankan Christian family grieves as municipal cemetery workers carry the body of their family member who died of Covid-19 for cremation in Colombo, Sri Lanka.(AP)

Fear of Covid-19 spread forces Sri Lanka to reduce its Parliament sessions

PTI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 09:36 PM IST
The Committee on Parliamentary Business has decided that Parliament will meet on Tuesday and Wednesday only, following the Covid-19 cases reported last week, the official said.
Close
Pakistani politician Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), wave to the supporters during an anti-government protest rally organized by the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) in Lahore, Pakistan.(Reuters)
Pakistani politician Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), wave to the supporters during an anti-government protest rally organized by the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) in Lahore, Pakistan.(Reuters)

PDM announces new round of anti-government rallies across Pakistan

ANI
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 09:29 PM IST
Accusing Imran Khan of seeking the biggest National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) in the foreign funding case, the PDM chief said "Foreign funding case is the biggest scandal in the country's history and Imran Khan is the main accused in the case."
Close
Assistant Public Defender Courtney Smallwood said Singh does not have a criminal record. She also said it was unclear why Singh, who is unemployed, came to Chicago or if he has ties to the area. (Representative Image)(Reuters File Photo)
Assistant Public Defender Courtney Smallwood said Singh does not have a criminal record. She also said it was unclear why Singh, who is unemployed, came to Chicago or if he has ties to the area. (Representative Image)(Reuters File Photo)

Man arrested after allegedly hiding 3 months at Chicago airport due to Covid-19

AP
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 09:17 PM IST
Aditya Singh, 36, is charged with felony criminal trespass to a restricted area of an airport and misdemeanor theft after he was arrested Saturday.
Close
Western countries may consider targeted sanctions on Russian individuals deemed to have been involved in Navalny's arrest and any decision to jail him.(AFP)
Western countries may consider targeted sanctions on Russian individuals deemed to have been involved in Navalny's arrest and any decision to jail him.(AFP)

How might EU react after Russia arrests opposition leader Alexei Navalny

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 09:04 PM IST
Here are some of the measures which the EU might consider taking, based on proposals mooted in previous cases when the West considered sanctions against Russia.
Close
American Hassan Joseph feeds his camel, Victoria before its participation in the King Abdulaziz Camel Festival.(Representational Image / REUTERS)
American Hassan Joseph feeds his camel, Victoria before its participation in the King Abdulaziz Camel Festival.(Representational Image / REUTERS)

Man hospitalised in Germany after camel bites him in face

AP
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 08:18 PM IST
Police characterised the injuries as “serious” and said the man was being treated in a local hospital.
Close
A man holds a placard reading "For Navalny!" as people, including supporters of Alexei Navalny, gather outside a police station where the Russian opposition leader is being held following his detention, in Khimki outside Moscow, Russia January 18, 2021. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov(REUTERS)
A man holds a placard reading "For Navalny!" as people, including supporters of Alexei Navalny, gather outside a police station where the Russian opposition leader is being held following his detention, in Khimki outside Moscow, Russia January 18, 2021. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov(REUTERS)

Jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny urges Russians to take to streets

Reuters
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 08:03 PM IST
The United Nations and Western nations told Russia to immediately free the opposition politician.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP