The U.S. has reached an important milestone in its fight to recover from the pandemic. According to the Department of Labor’s report released yesterday, new unemployment claims have tumbled to their lowest since March of 2020. New jobless claims for last week (the most recent data the Department has released), were 684,000, the first time that there have been less than 700,000 claims per week since the pandemic began. In this post, we’ll break down why economists say it’s happening and what could come next.
Vaccines Are Rolling Out
After a rocky initial rollout, vaccines have been rolling out quickly in the U.S. since January. The US is now distributing 2.5 million vaccines a day, and all U.S. adults should be eligible for the vaccine by May, according to President Biden. As vaccines roll out, many states are opening up, bringing back jobs. “[The data] suggests that the labor market has been improving in recent months as the drag from COVID-19 has been reduced, in part due to vaccine distribution,” said JPMorgan economist Daniel Silver.
If you want to track the vaccine rollout near you in real time and even see who in your network is vaccinated, you can try out our new vaccine social tracker and log in with Facebook.
Funding is Helping Small Businesses Recover
Alongside vaccines, the $1.9 trillion stimulus package has been key to the U.S.’ job progress.
Retail sales are expected to see a boost with individual stimulus checks, and small business aid like the PPP and EIDL programs are offering direct assistance to businesses so that they can stay open and operate as employers. One of the main goals of the stimulus package was to give the economy a boost, and it has been successful.
Unemployment Assistance is Still Needed
The U.S. has made great progress in recovering and bringing jobs back, but unemployment still remains much higher than pre-pandemic levels. Even though progress has been made, we will need unemployment assistance to help the record number of people out of work.
Luckily, the stimulus package includes several provisions for those that remain unemployed, including an extended federal unemployment boost. Enhanced unemployment assistance will likely be necessary for months to come.
Conclusion: The U.S. Economy is Recovering
After facing the worst economic recession since the Great Depression, the U.S. economy is finally beginning to recover. It may take time for the impacts of the stimulus package and vaccine rollout to completely reach U.S businesses and workers, but it’s exciting to see such positive news. You can keep up with more economic and stimulus news on the Skip App (free on the App Store or Google Play).