The number of applications for unemployment benefits in the United States increased considerably last week. According to the US Department of Labor, 965,000 applications were submitted, or 181,000 more than a week earlier. This is the strongest increase since March last year.
In recent months tens of millions of people in the US have been using the social safety net as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Because large companies have announced reorganizations and the pandemic continues to flow in many new applications.
Economists had not expected such a sharp increase this time. They assumed, on average, 789,000 applications, almost as many as a week earlier by Americans knocking on their government’s door.
Since mid-March, the number of applications for benefits in the US has been above 1 million for months because of the crisis. It was only in August that the number of applications dropped below that level for the first time in a week.