Why Have Initial Unemployment Claims Stayed so High for so Long?
Posted: 9 Jul 2021
Date Written: July, 2021
As the labor market recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, claims for unemployment insurance (UI) have been surprisingly slow to return to conventional levels. As recently as 2021Q1, initial claims for regular UI benefits averaged nearly 800,000 per week (see Figure 1)—more than twice as many as were observed at a comparable point during the recovery from the Great Recession.
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