Over the past few weeks and months, the unemployment rate has been steadily decreasing. There have also been improvements in productivity in our economy. The week of February 8th, however, showed an increase in jobless claims. According to NBC News, “jobless claims soared to 861,000, despite more states and cities lifting restrictive business measures amid a decline in the number of coronavirus cases.” Expected jobless claims were around 773,000 (NBC) which is a huge difference from the actual number of claims. Because of this, members of congress are pushing to get a stimulus package done soon. There is a lot of disagreement on what exactly should be in the stimulus package, and how much it should cost. Janet Yellen, the Treasury Secretary, is pushing for a $1.9 trillion stimulus package. After the weekly jobless claims were released, Yellen mentioned, “The price of doing too little is much higher than the price of doing something big” (Business Insider). She feels that inflation is not the main concern and mentioned that the rates have been very low over the past decade. Economists feel that the virus levels are a good indicator for the health of the economy. Good vaccine and virus news can correlate with the overall good economic news. Unemployment numbers are still way above pre-pandemic numbers, but we are slowly edging closer to the stronger pre-pandemic economy.
Unemployment Numbers Worse Than Expected
Updated: Feb 25, 2021