On Thursday, US Labour Department data on weekly initial jobless claims had illustrated a broad-based recovery in a near-stagnant labour market as fewer-than-anticipated Americans had filed for initial jobless claims during the week that ended on February 20 amid a rapid decline in pandemic cases, nonetheless a near term outlook for US labour market still remained foggy following the Texas winter storms that wreaked havocs in the US state alongside the Southwestern part of the country.
In point of fact, in the day’s Labour Department data on first-time claims for state unemployment benefits had revealed that the number of Americans filing for initial jobless aids fell to a three-month-low last week after hitting a pothole later last year, signalling a gradual restoration of momentum, while other fiscal data released earlier in the day had unleashed a sweeping increase in demands for US-borne goods last month.
On top of that, latest upbeat labour market report comes over the heels of a commerce department report last week that said the retail sales in the world’s No. 1 economy had spiked to a seven-month high in January, largely due to a euphoria that the pandemic might come to an end much-sooner than expected.
US Labour market shows tentative signs of recovery
In tandem, according to US Labour Department data published earlier in the day, the number of Americans filing for state unemployment benefits declined 111,000 to a seasonally adjusted 730,000 last week, hitting its lowest level since November 2020, Meanwhile, citing a $892 billion in pandemic stimulus bill passed in the US Senate later last year which seemingly has been driving the latest recovery in US labour market and retail sales, a chief economist at FHN Financial in New York, Chris Low said following the announcement, “The data underscore the big boost to growth already evident from last December’s stimulus.
Momentum on the next stimulus bill may be too powerful to stop ... some of the spending is needed despite the economy’s strength”. So far the US economy had regained 12.3 million jobs among 22.2 million lost during the peak of the pandemic.