New U.S. unemployment numbers out today are bad, and it's because the pandemic is surging after the holidays.
"The number of people seeking unemployment aid soared last week to 965,000, the most since late August and evidence that the resurgent virus has caused a spike in layoffs," reports AP:
The latest figures for jobless claims, issued Thursday by the Labor Department, remain at levels never seen until the virus struck. Before the pandemic, weekly applications typically numbered around 225,000. Last spring, after nationwide shutdowns took effect, applications for jobless benefits spiked to nearly 7 million — 10 times the previous record high. After declining over the summer, weekly claims have been stuck above 700,000 since September.
More at the Associated Press.
From the Department of Labor announcement:
In the week ending January 9, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 965,000, an increase of 181,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised down by 3,000 from 787,000 to 784,000. The 4-week moving average was 834,250, an increase of 18,250 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was revised down by 2,750 from 818,750 to 816,000.
The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment ratewas 3.7 percent for the week ending January 2, an increase of 0.2 percentage point from the previous week's unrevised rate. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemploymentduring the week ending January 2 was 5,271,000, an increase of 199,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 5,072,000. The 4-week moving average was 5,215,750, a decrease of 59,000 from the previous week's unrevised average of 5,274,750.