Report from the U.S. Department of Labor
The number of new jobless people in the US for the week ending 28 November was significantly lower than economists predicted. The total number of Americans receiving unemployment benefits is also steadily declining.
The US Department of Labor released data on Thursday that showed a sharp decline in new jobless claims for the week ended 28 November.
Although current US labour market data is far from "to pandemic", the figures show a steady improvement and that employment is continuing, albeit at a slower pace.
Over the past week, the number of initial US jobless claims fell to 712,000, down from the revised level of 787,000 the previous week. In addition, 289,000 of the 712,000 are benefits received under the government's special pandemic assistance programme.
The number of continuing claims for unemployment benefits in the USA fell to 5.52 million for the week ending 21 November. This was the lowest level since the negative effects of the COVID-19 outbreak began to be felt in March.
The number of unemployed in the USA dropped to 11.061 million in October 2020 from 12.580 million in September 2020.
The unemployment rate fell to 6.9 percent in October 2020 from 7.9 percent in September, while employment rose by 2.2 million to 149.8 million. The increase in new COVID-19 infections, quarantine measures and the lack of new fiscal incentives from the government are holding back the faster pace of labour market recovery.
Earlier Tuesday, the Institute for Supply Management published the Manufacturing Activity Index (ISM) for November. The ISM showed growth in the US economy as a whole for the seventh consecutive month after the April downturn, which ended a 131-month growth period.
This is not bad news given that Democrats and Republicans have been unable to reach agreement on a new financial aid bill, Cares 2, to stimulate economic growth for more than a quarter, as they are still divided by detail and value.
Stock market growth in November was largely based on good news about COVID vaccines and investors' hopes that the government will implement these economic incentives for the economy by 2021.