In the week ending 20 March, 684,000 people filed new claims for unemployment benefits, the U.S. Labor Department reported, the first time new claims have fallen below 700,000 since mid-March 2020.
New claims fell by 97,000 from the previous week’s total of 781,000.
New claims in Illinois plunged 80 percent from the week before; Ohio’s filings were down by a third.
New claims for benefits under the federal program for gig workers and other self-employed people shrank to 241,000 from 284,000 the previous week.
The total number of new claims in all programs dipped below one million for the first time since the pandemic began, with the economy adding 379,000 net new jobs in February, the Labor Department said.
18.9 million people continued to collect unemployment benefits during the week, up from 18.2 million the week before.
About a third of those out-of-workers have been jobless for six months or longer. Typically, people without work for that long find it difficult to land jobs even in a recovering economy.
TREND FORECAST: Estimates are that an additional four million previously employed people have stopped looking for work. In the U.S.S.A., once an unemployed person no longer collects unemployment insurance, they are no longer counted as unemployed.
Also, upticks in COVID infections in several states and the dire warnings of “Doom” by the director of the CDC, as we have detailed in this Trends Journal, warning of a new wave of infections, will stymie the economic recovery and workers’ return to their jobs.
Indeed, fear continues to be spread as this warning is splashed across Bloomberg’s home page:
U.S. Covid Deaths Expected to Rise Soon with New Wave Emerging
Before politicians launched the COVID War, the number of new weekly unemployment claims had never reached 700,000. And, according to shadowstats.com, as of February, the real unemployment number in the U.S. is 25.8 percent.
We forecast unemployment will temporarily decline as trillions more are injected into the economy to pump it up. When Wall Street crashes, however, which it inevitably will do, the reality of the artificially propped-up equities and the economy will spread across Main Street, thus sharply elevating unemployment levels.