Petitions for Unemployment Benefits in the US Rise Again

New requests for unemployment benefits – an indicator of the level of layoffs – rose surprisingly last week, hovering above 700,000 claims, according to data released by the Labor Department.

Between March 21 and 27, 719,000 people applied for unemployment insurance for the first time, representing an increase of 61,000 compared to the previous week’s figures, which were revised down to 658,000.

This weekly indicator was above the expectations of experts who were betting on 679,000 new requests.

Official figures show that the average of the last four weeks was 719,000 requests, touching a minimum since mid-March 2020, before the hit of the pandemic, when this indicator stood at a level of 225,500.

“The level of requests remains high – as requests are still above the level reached during the global financial crisis – but we expect them to start to decline at a faster pace as the recovery gains momentum,” said the Oxford Economics consultancy.

These figures were released the day after US President Joe Biden published a $ 2 trillion infrastructure plan that aims to create millions of new jobs that lift the US economy out of the deep doldrums of the pandemic.

According to figures from the Labor Department, as of March 13, some 18.2 million people were still receiving some type of aid, the vast majority through temporary subsidies.

With information from AFP