What happens when governors and mayors order increased restrictions on commerce, no matter how well-advised those might be? And when government fails to provide compensation for the lost revenue? Businesses start letting employees go, that’s what, as we found out in March and April of this year at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It looks like we are about to learn that lesson all over again. The Department of Labor reported an upward spike in weekly initial jobless claims of 137,000 to 853,000. And in a sharp shift from the trends since June, the number of people receiving paid benefits also jumped by an even higher number, emphasis mine:
In the week ending December 5, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 853,000, an increase of 137,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up by 4,000 from 712,000 to 716,000. The 4-week moving average was 776,000, an increase of 35,500 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 1,000 from 739,500 to 740,500.
The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 3.9 percent for the week ending November 28, an increase of 0.1 percentage point from the previous week’s unrevised rate. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending November 28 was 5,757,000, an increase of 230,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up 7,000 from 5,520,000 to 5,527,000. The 4-week moving average was 5,935,750, a decrease of 260,250 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 1,750 from 6,194,250 to 6,196,000.