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Topsy-Turvy U.S. Jobs Market Losing Utility As Economic Indicator


Despite trillions of dollars of federal stimulus, a largely reopened economy and employers everywhere desperate for new hires, the job market refuses to play along with recovery.

Although the monthly jobs report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, scheduled to be published on Friday, is forecast to show an improvement over the previous two months, numbers for both job openings and unemployment are expected to remain elevated compared to pre-pandemic levels, Bloomberg reports.

In the week ending June 25, 411,000 new unemployment claims were filed in the U.S., higher than the expected 380,000, Axios reports. The chaos surrounding unemployment benefits, with 26 state governments opting out of the temporary federal program, only adds to the uncertainty around what all of these numbers mean for the economy.

Since some state governors began opting out of the federal program in May, the number of recipients of regular state unemployment benefits has decreased by 13.8% nationwide, The Wall Street Journal reports. Research from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco didn't produce significant evidence that decreased unemployment benefits increased job applications, Bloomberg reports.

Despite the lack of data, many business leaders have echoed the sentiments of governors who have opted out of federal unemployment benefits for their states. Both groups claim that benefits are too generous to get unemployed workers back into job rolls. Though many large employers are raising wages to recruit workers, a large number of available jobs still offer below the $15 per hour that progressives have pushed for as a federal minimum wage, The New York Times reports.