People line up outside a recently reopened career center for in-person appointments in Louisville, US on April 15, 2021. REUTERS / Amira Karaoud

  • Weekly jobless claims increase from 11,000 to 362,000
  • Unadjusted claims decrease from 8,326 to 298,255
  • Continuing claims drop from 18,000 to 2.802 million
  • GDP growth in the second quarter increased from 6.6% to 6.7%

WASHINGTON, Sept.30 (Reuters) – The number of Americans filing new jobless claims rose further last week as California moved more people to other programs after aid expired funded by the government earlier this month to maximize their access to aid.

The labor market recovery remains intact, with Thursday’s Labor Department report showing the number of unemployed falling steadily in mid-September. California announced on September 17 that approximately 340,000 people benefiting from the Emergency Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program, which expired on September 4, would be transferred to the state’s extended duration program. federal law that remained in effect until September 11.

The California Department of Employment Development said the transfer, which allowed PEUC claimants to receive an additional week of benefits, would show a sharp increase in claims filed, even though it reflected an existing claimant moving from a program to another. The PEUC was part of expanded federally funded unemployment programs to cushion the blow of the COVID-19 pandemic on Americans.

Claims are set to ease in the coming weeks as the California distortion fades and economic activity picks up amid a drop in COVID-19 infections driven by the Delta variant of the coronavirus.

“The downward trend could resume in October,” said Robert Frick, business economist with the Navy Federal Credit Union in Vienna, Virginia.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 11,000 to seasonally adjusted 362,000 for the week ended September 25. This was the third consecutive weekly increase.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast 335,000 candidates for last week. Unadjusted claims, which economists say provide a better reading of the labor market, fell from 8,326 to 298,255 last week.

Claims in California rose 17,978 last week, adding to the 17,218 increase the week before. There was also an increase in demands in Michigan last week, likely linked to the idling of some automakers’ assembly plants as they attempt to manage their semiconductor supply amid shortages. global.

Claims in Texas have also increased significantly. But there have been sharp drops in deposits in Virginia, Maryland, Arizona, Ohio and Louisiana. Claims, which fell from a record 6.149 million in early April 2020, remain well above their pre-pandemic levels.

US stocks were trading lower. The dollar was down against a basket of currencies. US Treasury prices have fallen.

Unemployment benefit claims

CHMAGE is shrinking

The claims report also showed that the number of people continuing to receive benefits after a first week of aid fell from 18,000 to 2,802 million during the week ended September 18, a sign that more people were finding work.

The alleged continuing claims covered the week in which the government asked households about September’s unemployment rate. Continuing claims declined slightly between the August and September survey periods. The unemployment rate was 5.2% in August.

Claims data is monitored to determine when a labor shortage, which limits hiring, will begin to ease after the expiration of expanded benefits.

Businesses and Republicans have blamed these benefits for keeping the unemployed at home. There was a record 10.9 million jobs open at the end of July. It is estimated that more than 6 million people lost their pandemic benefits on September 6.

The total number of people receiving unemployment checks under all programs fell to 5.028 million in the week ended September 11, from 11.250 million the week before.

“So far, there has been little evidence that improved benefits significantly prevent workers from re-entering the workforce,” said Isfar Munir, economist at Citigroup in New York. “Employment increased similarly in states that ended benefits earlier and those that ended later.”

The economy created 235,000 jobs in August, the least in seven months. Lack of child care, fears of contracting the coronavirus and career changes linked to the pandemic have been blamed for the labor shortage.

A separate Commerce Department report confirmed Thursday that economic growth picked up in the second quarter, thanks to fiscal stimulus, which boosted consumer spending. Gross domestic product grew at an annualized rate of 6.7%, the department said in its third estimate of GDP growth for the April-June quarter. This has been revised up from the 6.6% expansion pace reported in August.


The economy grew at a rate of 6.3% in the first quarter. Growth, however, appears to have slowed in the third quarter due to the Delta variant as well as shortages of raw materials, which hurt motor vehicle sales and limited construction and home purchases.

Growth estimates for the third quarter are less than 5%.

“As health conditions deteriorated, a reduced fiscal impetus and persistent supply constraints weighed heavily on activity in the third quarter, we expect a slow improvement in the health situation, strong household finances, a Replenishment and additional fiscal stimulus will support growth momentum in 2022, “said Lydia Boussour, chief US economist at Oxford Economics in New York.

Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Andrea Ricci

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