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American Unemployment Benefits Down to 44-Year Low

Updated : January 24th, 2018

Since 1973, the number of unemployment benefits has dropped significantly. It has been reported that as of December 2017, 1.87 million Americans receive benefits. It can also be noted that the Department of Labor received its largest number of newer filings from those that survived the destructive hurricane season. This caused massive damages to businesses in southern states and Puerto Rico. Despite this, the number of new applicants was low. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics suggested that the economy added 148,000 jobs in December and hence the unemployment rate remains at 4.1 percent. This comes at a time when companies were out to do the other better by offering raises, bonuses and increasing the minimum wage after the passage of President Donald Trump’s tax reform bill. This helped more than a 100 American companies to provide their employees with bonuses after Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Large corporations like AT&T, Nationwide and Comcast have increased their 401(k) matching rate, increased domestic investment and raised their minimum wages. Another major player that joined this list was Walmart which gave its 2.1 million employees a one-time bonus, higher wages, and other new benefits.

American Unemployment Benefits at 44 Year Low

Even after the US economy rebounded from the hurricanes, it had added 261,000 jobs and this is by far the best performance by the government. Unemployment had continued its decline to 4.1% since December 2000. But more importantly, wages have not increased as much and only grew 2.4% in October as compared to the previous year. This was also well behind its September numbers a year ago. One of the biggest mysteries in this economy is the absence of better wage growth and inflation. US has otherwise added jobs for 85 straight months and is the longest streak on record. Initially, the government suggested that there would be a loss of 33,000 jobs in September to the economy based on Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. But on the other hand, the revised figures show a gain of 18,000. Job gains for October have happened across all sectors. As soon as the storm had passed, restaurants had reopened and added more than 89,000 jobs after losing out on the same in September. Businesses services gained 50,000 positions while healthcare firms hired 22,000 employees. One of the most positive industries was manufacturing that gained 24,000 positions since October. Since the presidential election a year ago, it had gained nearly 156,000 jobs. This was attributed to the fact that they renewed the strength of the global economy and a weak US dollar that made American exports more affordable to foreigners. Manufacturing firms had heavily relied on shipping and selling overseas. Other interesting and notable figures in the report stated that 700,000 Americans left the labor market in October. Though the Labor Department could not provide a reason, the only conclusive answer was that Baby Boomers were retiring. The unemployment rate dropped due to a shrinking labor force and not become of more hiring. Industries that registered minor job losses like mining lost 2000 workers and retail stores lost 8000 jobs. Apart from this, the overall picture looked favorable and this meant that at this point the financial crisis has not been easy on workers.

Unemployment Claims Lowest

Unemployment Claims Lowest

You should know that US unemployment claims have fallen to 222,000. This is the lowest its been in 44 Years. This is because US unemployment claims fall by 22,000 to 222,000 and this has been recorded the lowest since March 1973. In terms of relating to these numbers, Americans collecting unemployment benefits fell to the lowest level since President Nixon was held office. Also, the less volatile four=week average slid by 9,500 to 248,250 which is lowest since late August. This means that the overall number of Americans that collected unemployment checks dropped to just 1.89 million. This is the lowest it has been since 1973 and down nearly 9 percent from a year ago.

Unemployment claims are usually associated with layoffs. The low levels help you notice that employers are confident about their economy and positive about hanging onto their workers. Employers cut 33,000 jobs in September and this was the first monthly drop in seven years pushed the 16 years low to 4.2 percent. This was mainly caused due to the hurricanes – Harvey and Irma that caused chaos and destruction to Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

A few days ago, President Trump mentioned that a year after his inauguration, women unemployment was the lowest in 18 years. Figures state that the joblessness among women was 3.7 percent in December and was well below the overall US unemployment rate of 4.1 percent. This a reason for employers to look into more employment opportunities for women and ensure that their workforce has a sense of job security and fulfillment.

You can see that unemployment was at 4.8% in January of 2017 and declined to 4.1% at the end of the year.In December, the unemployment rate was 4.1 percent for the third consecutive month. On average the unemployed persons were at 6.6 million and mostly unchanged over the month. Over the period of 2017, the unemployment rate and the number of unemployed persons were down to 0.6 percentage points and in terms of figures, 926,000. The rates for unemployment were for adult men (3.8 percent), adult women (3.7 percent), Whites (3.7 percent), Blacks (6.8 percent), Asians (2.5 percent), and Hispanics (4.9 percent) showed little or no change. The labor force participation rate, at 62.7 percent, was unchanged over the month and over the year. Also, the employment to population ratio remained unchanged at 60.1 percent in December but was up 0.3 percent over the last year.

If you are unemployed and looking to claim benefits, then you should use the Benefits Calculator to figure out the benefits that you are eligible for. Using the Benefits Calculator, you should fill in wages earned for four months and select the state that you reside in. Do read about qualifying wages, the duration of receiving benefits and the amount of weekly benefit located in the section below the calculator for further clarity. Share your thoughts and views on unemployment in America and if you have further clarification, you can give us further details.

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  1. I work for a church pre school program and I have lost my job due to coronavirus. When I applied for unemployment in Texas it says that two does not except this employer as my last employer. I’ve been working there for 13 years. What do I do?

  2. Chad ….. how do I get thru when it wont accept my ID or my password. I change it 5 times and it still wont work. Calling is not working at any time when I spend and whole day calling back to back to get thru. why don’t they just help or force the employers ( company) to place they claims in for their workers like GM did……I NEED HELP…PLEASE.

    1. Chad,

      We understand this might be a difficult time for you. We’re anticipating a shortage of staff across unemployment offices due to the massive surge in UI applications considering the pandemic. We advise against calling or visiting the office, as you may not get a response instantly.

      Your state may have activated “Extended Benefits (EB)” authorized by the federal government. We recommend you apply for UI benefits online. For more information, please visit your state’s official Unemployment website.

  3. i live in ga…all the day cares have shut down my wife and i have full time jobs,,,but i have to leave my company which i have been there for over two years,to take care of our child….can i still collect unemployment…this covid virus is why i have to leave my job…

    1. Gary,

      We understand this might be a difficult time for you. We’re anticipating a shortage of staff across unemployment offices due to the massive surge in UI applications considering the pandemic. We advise against calling or visiting the office, as you may not get a response instantly.

      Your state may have activated “Extended Benefits (EB)” authorized by the federal government. We recommend you apply for UI benefits online. For more information, please visit your state’s official Unemployment website.

  4. are you kidding me my son lost his job on 10/17/2020 hes mentally challenged and cant file on his own because he doesn’t know how so I started going to sites trying to file for him and the residence inn Marriott promised to help him and have done zip . ive tried 10 different sites and I keep getting dropped wen I complete forms and push submit. 12 days now n still cant file a claim.

    1. Martin,

      There’s only one website you should be trying from. Please let us know your state and we’ll share the website information.

  5. I have submitted my forms EXACTLY as I was instructed too on line. Even though I have filled out the paperwork correctly I keep getting emails asking for me to fill out the form that I have done multiple times already. Remuneration – Claimant Questionnaire is the issue. I got online and requested a phone call. 3 days ago. I just need to know that you guys received everything and I don’t owe any more information.
    Nobody answers the 617-626-6800 number. Just get directed to the internet. Well, you can’t speak with the internet. I am getting mixed messages and I fret that this will delay any benefits.
    Could someone please give me a call.

    1. James,

      Please try finding answers online since there might be limited phone support due to the shortage of staffing. This is a private forum and we’ll not be able to arrange a callback.

  6. I work for a church that has grown it’s congregation over almost 40 years and we now have 26 mostly full time employees, most being here many years. Will our employees be able to file and receive benefits since we are an EXEMPT from paying unemployment industry? State of Florida

  7. My unemployment benefits ran out 3/1/2020 am I able to file for extended benefits ? I live in California and am 62 years old.

    1. Ariana,

      We understand this might be a difficult time for you. We’re anticipating a shortage of staff across unemployment offices due to the massive surge in UI applications considering the pandemic. We advise against calling or visiting the office, as you may not get a response instantly.

      Your state may have activated “Extended Benefits (EB)” authorized by the federal government. We recommend you apply for UI benefits online. For more information, please visit your state’s official Unemployment website.

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