Last week’s initial weekly unemployment claims rose to 965,000, according to data released Thursday by the Department of Labor, as the economy struggles to stem the decline from rising coronovirus infection rates nationwide.
Unemployed claims remained below 1 million for the first time for five months, after grossing a record 7 million in late March. However, the weekly figure is four times the pre-epidemic average.
Last week’s monthly employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics saw a decline of 140,000 jobs for the month of December. This marked a dramatic turn in the leisure and hospitality sector, with restaurant and bar jobs decreasing by nearly half a million. However, as the herd has reached immunity, there is some confidence that the service industry will improve, as customers return to food and shopping.
Along with women making up the bulk of the service sector, this demographic has been most affected by the epidemic-induced occupational shutdowns. Additionally, the lack of childcare and the requirements for remote schooling have added burden for women, making them more widely excluded from the workforce.
Ten months into the epidemic, the US economy still has a recovery of about 10 million jobs, the unemployment rate remains at 6.7 percent, and about 19 million Americans are still claiming some form of unemployment benefit.
Bankrate senior economic analyst Mark Hamrick said the Pepsich Protection program, which was reopened last week, reopened last week, should help keep some businesses running.
Hamrick said, “These leaflets have been written fairly consistently by the business community as well as our central bankers, because they understand that the only thing they can say about monetary policy is that they can bow down.”
An obvious entry point is investment in the country’s infrastructure.
“The massive infrastructure bill will broaden the economy,” and improve the situation for those demographics who have been the biggest burden during the coronovirus epidemic, Blackrock CEO Larry Fink told CNBC on Thursday morning. “I can’t think of one more important thing.”