Unemployment claims in Missouri increased last week
New weekly unemployment claims in Missouri increased last week compared with the week prior, the U.S. Department of Labor said Thursday.
New claims rose to 8,875 in the week ending April 3, up from 8,225 the week before, the labor department said.
Last year at this time, there were 91,458 new claims in Missouri.
U.S. unemployment claims rose to 744,000 last week, up 16,000 claims from 728,000 the week prior on a seasonally adjusted basis.
Daniel Zhao, a senior economist with the career site Glassdoor, called last week’s increase more of a blip and not a step in the wrong direction, pointing to the jobs report released last week that showed the U.S. economy gained 916,000 jobs last month.
“If anything it’s been a bit of a mystery why claims are so high in the pandemic even though the economy has made steps towards improvement,” he said.
AnnElizabeth Konkel, an economist at the Indeed Hiring Lab, said Thursday’s report “shows progress.”
“While initial claims need to fall much farther to return to even remotely ‘normal’ levels, at least there is movement in the right direction,” she said.
Still, new jobless claims are three times as high compared with 2019 levels of about 200,000 weekly claims.
Zhao said he expects claims will return to pre-pandemic levels as more people are vaccinated and restrictions on businesses are lifted.
New U.S. claims peaked in the pandemic about a year ago, with nearly 6.9 million claims in one week. Since then, claims have slowly fallen, hovering around 700,000 weekly for the past month as more states are loosening restrictions on restaurants, movie theaters and bowling alleys, among other businesses, and calling back workers.
“My expectation is that claims will drop as millions of Americans are rehired and pulled back into the workforce when the economy is able to fully reopen,” Zhao said.
New Mexico saw the largest percentage change in weekly claims, with claims jumping by 108.5%. Alabama, meanwhile, saw the largest percentage drop in new claims, with claims dropping by 74.5%.