After a year of record-breaking unemployment rates, the United States may be on track to return to normalcy. A new report from the Department of Labor shows the lowest number of individuals seeking unemployment insurance since March 2020.
Year of Record-Breaking Unemployment Rates
Last year, when the COVID-19 pandemic spiked, the United States experienced record-breaking unemployment rates. In April 2020, the national unemployment rate was 14.7%, the highest rate in recorded history.
At this time, Massachusetts also experienced an alarming unemployment rate increase.
It is important to note, low unemployment rates mean a high number of employed individuals. On the other hand, high unemployment rates mean a low number of employed individuals.
Massachusetts has many tourists. The state is also known for its universities, colleges, and entertainment, service, and hospitality industries. Therefore, when schools and businesses began to close due to the pandemic, Massachusetts’ rapid decline in employed residents was not surprising.
Now, Fewest New Unemployment Applications Since Last Year
On March 25, the Department of Labor released new national statistics indicating the fewest number of unemployment insurance requests since the beginning of the pandemic.
For the first time since mid-March 2020, the number of initial unemployment claims fell below 700,000.
However, according to The Associated Press, nearly 19 million people continue to collect unemployment benefits nationwide.
A Light at the End of the Tunnel
As businesses begin to gradually reopen, the number of job openings will likely increase. But, this may not happen overnight.
Typically, following periods of economic decline, employers are justifiably hesitant to hire in large quantities. As seen historically, businesses tend to wait and see if the economy is truly stable before adding new members to their team.
With this in mind, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. According to credit card data, consumer spending has seen recent growth and is now consistent with this time last year. Although, stimulus check disbursements may have affected these statistics.
All in all, experts are forecasting an economic boost in the months to come. Ordinarily, where an economic increase exists, so does an increase in hiring. The “new normal” may be closer than we think.
Do You Have Questions About Your Unemployment Insurance Eligibility? We Can Help.
The COVID-19 pandemic has left many Americans jobless. If you have been laid off as a result of the ongoing pandemic, you may qualify for temporary income. For more information, please visit Keches Law Group’s COVID-19 FAQs page by clicking here.