Rising Unemployment Claims Pressures Congress to Act Now

Initial claims unexpectedly climbed to a three-month high last week with 885k Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits. Filings exploded during the spring shutdown, but had shown gradual improvement until early November when the virus reasserted itself. At this point, weekly claims are back to 4x pre-pandemic levels. These new filers have recently been laid-off from their jobs. It’s concerning to see fewer workers in light of the fact that the holiday season normally requires additional staffing to support traditional holiday parties and gift giving.

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