It was in March 2020 that the U.S. went on complete lockdown and every business, whether small or big, was shut down. And even four months after that, the U.S. economy is still finding it hard to find its balance and billions of Americans are jobless -- a number which continues to rise as employers haven’t stopped laying off workers. 

Even though the number of people who filed initial applications for unemployment insurance last week has dropped from  1.4 million to 1.2 million people and is the lowest level recorded by the Labor Department since March, the figure is still substantially high. 

"The story here, we think, is that layoffs triggered by the second wave of COVID-19 in the South and West are now falling," said Ian Shepherdson, chief economist of Pantheon Macroeconomics, in a research note. Earlier, the claim total had lowered after businesses had started opening in states across the U.S.

The recent drop in the number of people who filed for jobless benefits is despite the surge in coronavirus cases in the South and West, which led to the closure of restaurants, bars, gyms, movie theatres, etc. after they had reopened for the first time since March. 

But it's still a very large section of the population, which is only predicted to spike again as in the face of the surging pandemic, states are once again closing down businesses and putting a pause on reopening other outlets. Many of them have run out of the federal loans they were allotted to retain or rehire staffers as the unstable economy barely bore any profit.

These firms are letting go of its workers again bringing the total number of jobless Americans to more than 55 million who have applied for jobless benefits since the beginning of the state shutdowns.

But looking at the positive side of the situation, unemployment claims have fallen sharply from 17 million to 16.1 million in the previous week. 

Before the coronavirus pandemic struck, it was during the period of recession in 1982 that the U.S. had seen its highest number of claims at 695,000. 
Jobless claims up, but at the lower end of pre-storm range Jobless claims up, but at the lower end of pre-storm range REUTERS