During the week ended 19 February, new claims for unemployment benefits dropped by 111,000 to 730,000, the lowest number since November 2020 and far below the four-week moving average of 807,750, the U.S. Labor Department reported.
The new number is a tenth of the flood of claims at its peak last spring and an encouraging sign after new claims blipped up over the winter.
Continuing claims also dropped, sliding 101,000 week on week to 4.42 million, the fewest since 21 March.
One million more claims for assistance were filed for jobless payments by workers whose other benefits have run out. More than 19 million Americans were receiving some form of unemployment support during the week of 6 February.
“The trend [toward lower numbers of claims] will continue because people are spending more,” labor economist Michelle Holder at John Jay College commented to the Wall Street Journal
The accelerating vaccination campaign is boosting confidence in the economy’s future, she noted.
Seventy-five percent of the week’s decrease came from California and Ohio, both of which are dealing with high numbers of fraudulent claims, indicating that their unemployment numbers could rise again when phony claims are sifted out.
Also, the ice storm across U.S. southern states in late February is likely to nudge unemployment claims back up in the short term. Still, employers will add 4.8 million jobs to the economy this year, according to economists surveyed by the WSJ.
TREND FORECAST: Unemployment numbers will drop as the Biden Bounce continues, that is, until equity markets crash, which we forecast will occur by the year’s end. Moreover, should the Banksters come up with new schemes undreamed of to keep the artificially-inflated equities on their highs, even in a best-case scenario, while old jobs will come back, new ones won’t be created. The hundreds of thousands of jobs that were lost from businesses that have gone bust won’t be re-created, since there won’t be a surge of new business creation.
In addition, in the hotel industry, for example, which has been hit hard by the lockdowns, according to Beechwood Real Estate Advisors, hotel execs see recovery taking two to three years. Thus, all hotels and chains of business that support them have shed employees, who will not be back at work this year and most of next. 

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