New claims for unemployment dropped to 712,000 in regular state programs in the week ended March 6, the Labor Department reported today. That drop of 42,000 from the prior week was a bigger drop than economists had projected. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg were looking for 725,000 new claims in regular state programs.
Granted this is just a projection, and that nobody really knows what the economy will look like over the next three years, but it’s still depressing news. The nonpartisan–although frequently reviled by the Trump administration–Congressional Budget Office projects that the U.S. unemployment rate won’t fall to pre-pandemic levels until 2024. The office says that the unemployment rate will fall to a still elevated 5.7% in 2021, to 5$ in 2022, and to 4.7% in 2023. From 2026 to 2031 the unemployment rate will average 4.1%, well above the 3.7% it average in 2019, the last pre-pandemic year. The unemployment rate was a historically low 3.5% in February 2020
The U.S. economy added 223,000 jobs in May, well ahead of the 190,000 gain expected by economists surveyed by Briefing.com Revised figures for April showed the economy adding slightly fewer jobs, a revised 159,000 new jobs versus an initial 164,000. The official unemployment rate fell to 3.8% in May from 3.9% in April, matching a 18-year low.