Washington (dpa) - According to analysts, the recovery in the US labor market is stalling due to the ongoing corona pandemic. The U.S. government today announced the unemployment rate for the month of July (2:30 p.m. CEST).
In June, the rate fell for the second month in a row, most recently to 11.1 percent. In view of the recent increase in new corona infections in many parts of the country, experts now anticipate only a slight improvement in the situation. Before the pandemic, the unemployment rate was 3.5 percent.
Despite the emerging economic recovery in the USA, the situation on the labor market remains very tense. In the week up to and including August 1, around 1.2 million people applied for new unemployment benefits, as data from Thursday showed. In the previous weeks, the number of new applications was well over a million. The proposals reflect the short-term development of the labor market and show that the world's largest economy continues to be in a severe crisis. Before the pandemic, the number of new applications had seldom exceeded 100,000.
In view of the rapid increase in new infections in the states in the south and west of the country - in which around a third of the population lives - the economic recovery has recently stalled again. The widely recognized ADP report on employment in the private sector only showed an increase of 167,000 jobs for the month of July on Wednesday. Analysts had expected more than a million. The report suggested that the unemployment rate should also have seen little improvement.
Experts describe the persistence of unemployment at a historically high level as particularly worrying because additional federal unemployment assistance of $ 600 per week expired in March from a Corona aid package in late July. The loss of aid is likely to hit millions of Americans hard and put a strain on the economy as a whole - especially since consumption makes up a large part of economic output. Democrats, Republicans and government want to negotiate another stimulus package on Friday, which should also renew the generous unemployment benefits.
The unemployment rate rose to over 14 percent in April due to the Corona crisis, which shut down much of the economy. In May it fell to 13.3 percent, then surprisingly significantly to 11.1 percent in June. The quota for the month of July will only reflect the situation on the labor market until the middle of the month due to the usual delayed data collection. Any deterioration thereafter due to the sharp increase in new infections in Florida, Texas, Arizona and California, among others, would no longer be taken into account.
US President Donald Trump, who is applying for a second term in November, hopes that the economy will recover quickly. However, most analysts are much more skeptical about this because of the ongoing pandemic. Even the US Federal Reserve is no longer expecting a very rapid recovery due to the pandemic.
According to data from Johns Hopkins University, there are now almost 4.9 million confirmed coronavirus infections and around 160,000 related deaths in the United States. The number of confirmed new infections with the pathogen was recently over 50,000 per day.
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