COVID woes: California unemployment claims soar to three-month high

California’s wobbly job market has stumbled coming out of the gate in 2022, posting two straight weeks of rising unemployment claims that have now soared to their worst level in nearly three months.

Workers in California filed 63,000 initial claims for unemployment during the week that ended Jan. 8, which was a big jump of 12,800 from the 50,200 that were filed statewide during the week ending Jan. 1, the U.S. Labor Department reported Thursday. These numbers were not adjusted for seasonal volatility.

Nationwide, workers filed 230,000 initial jobless claims last week, up 23,000 from the 207,000 claims that were filed in the United States the prior week, according to the Labor Department. These numbers were adjusted for seasonal variations.

The approximately 63,000 unemployment claims that California workers in the week ending on Jan. 8 represented the highest weekly total since Oct. 16, when workers filed 72,900 jobless claims — nearly three months ago.

The recent rise in jobless filings could suggest that employers have launched fresh rounds of layoffs amid a new wave of illnesses that the coronavirus omicron variant has spawned.

The layoffs last week were a far greater number than what would be typical for a normal economy in California.

During January 2020 and February 2020, the final two months before state and local government agencies imposed wide-ranging business shutdowns to combat the spread of the coronavirus, weekly jobless claims averaged 44,800 a week in California.

That means the most recent weekly total for jobless claims is a staggering 41% higher than the average total in California during early 2020.

The big jump in jobless claims has created a murky picture for when California might recover from the mammoth layoffs that occurred in March 2020 and April 2020, the first two months of the business lockdowns.




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Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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