California’s shaken job market has yet to fully recover from the ailments caused by the coronavirus, as outlined in a federal report released Thursday that shows jobless claims remain abnormally high.
Workers in California filed 67,200 initial jobless claims in the week ended October 9, up 3,200 from the 64,000 applications filed in the week ended October 2, the US Labor Department said Thursday.
In January 2020 and February 2020, in the last two months before state and local governments ordered to block the spread of the fatal disease, California had an average of 44,800 jobless claims per week.
The 67,200 jobless claims filed last week in California were 50% higher than the early 2020 average.
More details: 4.3 million Americans quit their jobs at a record pace in August
US claims fell to their lowest level since the start of the pandemic, falling from 36,000 to 293,000, the second in a row.
This is the lowest number of people applying for benefits since the week of March 14, 2020, when the pandemic intensified and for the first time, the number of applications fell below 300,000.
The reduction in layoffs is taking place against the backdrop of an unusual labor market. Recruitment has slowed in the past two months, even as companies and other employers have posted nearly a record number of job openings. Companies are struggling to find workers, as some three million people who have lost their jobs and stopped looking for work after the pandemic have not yet resumed their job search. Economists hoped more people would find jobs in September as schools reopened, childcare restrictions eased and unemployment assistance increased across the country.
But there has been no recovery: employers added just 194,000 jobs last month. The highlight is that the unemployment rate fell to 4.8% from 5.2%, although this decline was in part due to the fact that many of the unemployed stopped looking for work and were no longer considered unemployed. The proportion of women working or looking for work declined in September, probably due to difficulties finding kindergartens or because schools have been destroyed by COVID-19 outbreaks.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.