Jobless claims rise despite worker demand
New unemployment benefit applications in the United States increased by 51,000 for a total of 419,000 this past week. That is near the rate registered early in the pandemic. Economists say the increase is likely due to a struggling auto industry. Michigan listed the majority of claims following General Motors’ decision to stop large truck production amid a computer chip shortage. As the economy recovers from the pandemic, experts suggest unemployment rates will continue to decline.
Are there enough jobs? Businesses are struggling to meet demand with Americans beginning to travel and eat out again. Roughly 850,000 jobs were added in June alone, but that still left the country with 6.8 million fewer jobs than in early 2020. Employers say they cannot afford the higher wages required to fully staff businesses. Economists also expect that imbalance to level out as pandemic assistance fades. Some states are ending emergency unemployment benefit programs early to incentivize people to apply for jobs.
Dig deeper: Read Sarah Schweinsberg’s report about the ongoing worker shortage.
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