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Delta Variant Likely Impacting Jobless Claims

The incidence of jobless claim applications could reflect increased layoffs tied to COVID

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits jumped last week to 332,000 after reaching a pandemic-low 312,000 the week before.

The increase in new applications for jobless aid could reflect the spread of the delta variant slightly increasing layoffs, The Washington Post reported. According to the newspaper, last week’s increase was also small and may be temporary given that the four-week average of jobless claims has dropped for the fifth straight week, smoothing out fluctuations in the weekly data.

Separately, the Commerce Department reported that retail sales rose 0.7 percent last month, with spending at restaurants, bars and other brick-and-mortar businesses flat but online sales soaring 5.3 percent in August.

This article was provided to OSAP by ASAE's Power of A and Inroads.

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