Weekly applications for unemployment benefits continued to fall in early May in the United States, reaching their lowest level since the start of the pandemic, coinciding with the progressive recovery of economic activity, according to data released Thursday by the Labor Department.
Between May 9 and May 15, 444,000 people signed up for unemployment benefits, up from 478,000 in the first week of May, according to slightly upwardly revised data.
This figure is better than expected, as analysts anticipated 460,000 registrations.
The total number of people receiving unemployment benefits also fell, just below the threshold of 16 million in the last week of April, according to data also released Thursday.
On the other hand, job creation was very disappointing in April, with only 266,000 new jobs, far from the one million expected. And the unemployment rate even increased slightly for the first time in a year (6.1%).
Republicans blame the most generous benefits for the unemployed for this following the loss of many jobs to the pandemic. According to them, this encourages them to stay home instead of looking for work.
Many employers find it difficult to hire employees, especially in the lower-skilled and lower-paying jobs.
Thus, 21 of the 27 Republican state governors plan to reduce or even eliminate these additional benefits, paying again only the usual subsidies, lasting a maximum of three to six months. Some 2.5 million people who have exhausted their entitlements or are self-employed will then not receive any benefits, according to calculations by analysts at Oxford Economics.
US President Democrat Joe Biden recently reaffirmed the need to maintain these grants, while warning those who take advantage of the government’s generosity.
With AFP information