One of the few relatively positive categories of the American economy under Joe Biden’s leadership in recent months as been unemployment applications.
But they now suddenly have taken a turn toward the dark side.
Reports on Thursday show that first-time applications for the week ending July 30 rose to 260,000, up from the 254,000 from the week before.
The figures from the Department of Labor show the numbers now are far above the 2019 pre-pandemic average of 218,000 claims.
And the most recent week just narrowly missed topping the eight-month high of 261,000 from mid-July.
A report from Fox Business said, “Continuing claims, or the number of Americans who are consecutively receiving unemployment aid, rose slightly to 1.416 million for the week ended July 23, up by 48,000 from the previous week’s revised level.”
The report noted for several months, the labor market “has been one of the few bright spots in the economy.”
The numbers reflect “signs” that the labor market is getting weaker again, the report said, “with a plethora of companies, including Alphabet’s Google, Walmart, Apple, Meta and Microsoft, announcing hiring freezes or layoffs in recent weeks.”
Robert Frick, at Navy Federal Credit Union, told Fox Business, “Initial unemployment claims rose again during the latest week in an upward trajectory with no quick end in sight. Major corporations, including the country’s biggest employer, Walmart, are announcing layoffs as the economy cools.”
Numbers were just recently released, too, showing that the American economy contracted, or “grew negatively” during the second quarter, following the same result in the first quarter, putting the economy squarely inside the accepted definition of “recession.”
The most recent measure of inflation for Americans, too, recently was put at 9.1%.
A report from MSN admitted the four-week average for new jobless claims was the highest since last November.
And the report explained, “The Federal [Reserve] is jacking up the cost of borrowing to try to tame the biggest outbreak of U.S. inflation in almost 41 years. Higher rates typically discourage consumers and businesses from spending and investing.”