116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Home / Business
The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell for the sixth straight week as the U.S. economy, held back for months by the coronavirus pandemic, reopens rapidly.
In Iowa, Iowa Workforce Development reported on Thursday a decrease in new and continuing claims in the week ending June 5.
New claims fell from 3,380 to 2,736, and continuing claims fell from 25,588 to 25,481.
Nationwide, jobless claims fell by 9,000 to 376,000 from 385,000 the week before, the U.S. Department of Labor said Thursday. The number of people signing up for benefits exceeded 900,000 in early January and has fallen more or less steadily ever since.
Still, national claims are high by historic standards. Before the pandemic brought economic activity to a near-standstill in March 2020, weekly applications were regularly coming in below 220,000.
Nearly 3.5 million people were receiving traditional state unemployment benefits the week of May 29, down by 258,000 from 3.8 million the week before.
Businesses are reopening rapidly as the rollout of vaccines allows Americans to feel more comfortable returning to restaurants, bars and shops.
The U.S. Labor Department reported Tuesday that job openings hit a record 9.3 million in April.
Layoffs dropped to 1.4 million, lowest in records dating back to 2000. Four million quit their jobs in April, another record and a sign that they are confident enough in their prospects to try something new.
“As life normalizes and the service sector continues to gain momentum, we expect initial jobless claims to continue to trend lower,″ said Joshua Shapiro, chief U.S. economist at the economic and financial consulting firm Maria Fiorini Ramirez Inc.
In May, the U.S. economy generated 559,000 million new jobs, and the unemployment rate dropped to 5.8 percent, from 6.1 percent in April.
Many economists expected to see even faster job growth.
The United States still is short 7.6 million jobs from where it stood in February 2020.
Many states are scheduled to begin dropping the federal benefits this month.
Altogether, 15.3 million people were receiving some type of jobless aid the week of May 22. A year earlier, the number exceeded 30 million.
Linn, Johnson counties see drops
Iowa Workforce Development noted that self-employed and independent contractors were the largest source of new claims statewide with 340, followed by manufacturing with 296, and health care and social assistance with 219.
Linn and Johnson counties both saw significant drops in new claims. Linn County's new claims fell from 305 to 175, and Johnson County's decreased from 184 to 92.
At this time last year, Iowa had 9,488 new claims and 158,268 continuing claims.
Iowa’s numbers are preliminary and are yet to be adjusted by the U.S. Department of Labor. They also only include people actively seeking work and therefore do not present a complete view of how many Iowans are out of work.
Comments: (319) 398-8394; firstname.lastname@example.org