U.S. Unemployment Claims Rise To 778,000 Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

By Hayden Brooks

November 25, 2020

Unemployment rates rose for the second straight week in the United States to 778,800 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Per the Associated Press, the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits increased last week based on a report from the Labor Department. Prior to the coronavirus spread, weekly claims were roughly estimated to be around the 225,000 ballpark and shot up to 6.9 after the virus hit hard in mid-March.

To break down that figure, it shows that the Americans currently receiving unemployment benefits is around 6.1 million, despite that figure dropping over the months. While more people are securing employment and no longer receiving the financial assistance, it also indicates that the remaining jobless people have already used their state unemployment aid, which usually expires after six months. Since then, they've transitioned over to a federal extension benefit program that lasts 13 more weeks. "With infections continuing to rise at an elevated pace and curbs on business operations widening, layoffs are likely to pick up over coming weeks," Rubeela Farooqi, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics said. "Even as job growth is continuing, the labor market remains under stress and far from complete recovery."

Additionally, the Conference Board, a business research group, reported that consumer confidence has weakened in November, which indicates that Americans are likely to stay home this holiday shopping season and away from local business until they feel safe amid the pandemic.

Meanwhile, data firm Womply revealed that 21 percent of small business were halted at the top of the month. That is a steady increase from June's 16 percent rate, but consumer spending, at least when it comes to local businesses, dropped 27 percent this month from a year ago.

Photo: Getty Images

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