Jobless Claims Remain High as Summer Recovery Continues

August 5, 2021 – The Labor Department reported that 385,000 Americans filed new claims for state unemployment benefits. This is the lowest level for initial claims since March 14, 2020, when it was 256,000. The median estimate from economists surveyed by Bloomberg was for a decline to 383,000 claims. The previous week’s level was revised down by 1,000 from 400,000 to 399,000. The four-week moving average was 394,000, a decrease of 250 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised down by 250 from 394,500 to 394,250.

More than 2.9 million Americans are still on traditional state unemployment benefits as the number of people seeking weekly new claims appear to have settled at a level higher than previously hoped, the feds said Thursday.

Executive Recruiters & Talent Leaders
Reveal Market Forecast

The pandemic caused an unprecedented disruption to executive search activity in 2020. Executive recruiters spent the better part of last year resetting expectations in the midst of an unprecedented interruption to their business. But according to recruiting industry leaders interviewed for this report, the search business is turning a significant corner.

We take a critical look back, examine search firm performance, and uncover fresh market opportunities. Leading executive recruiters offer up their viewpoints, and forecasts, for 2021. The good news: optimism reigns. And that means we could be in for one of the biggest growth spurts the executive search sector has enjoyed in years. Here’s our latest thinking. A special thanks to our co-sponsor: N2GrowthBuy your copy today!

“The Delta variant is just one part of the uncertainties that are currently characterizing the labor market,” Nela Richardson, ADP chief economist, told Yahoo Finance. “There are other bottlenecks that were there before the Delta variant really became part of the national attention, including child care and the lack of child care over the summer.”

“[There’s been] this hiring mismatch with firms all wanting to hire this summer, while consumers and workers may have benefitted from transfer payments or generous unemployment payments that keep them off the payrolls until the fall,” she said. “All of these things are coming together to show up in a very uneven, but still progressive labor market recovery.”

During the week, 47 states reported 5,156,982 continued weekly claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits and 47 states reported 4,246,207 continued claims for Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits. The highest insured unemployment rates were in California (5.2), Puerto Rico (5.1), Nevada (4.1), Rhode Island (4.0), Illinois (3.7), New Jersey (3.7), Connecticut (3.3), New York (3.3), District of Columbia (3.1), and Pennsylvania (3.0). The largest increases in initial claims were in California (+8,010), Tennessee (+1,694), Michigan (+449), New Jersey (+420), and Florida (+140), while the largest decreases were in Pennsylvania (-21,218), Texas (-11,154), Kentucky (-7,185), Illinois (-7,060), and Missouri (-5,351).

Continuing with Remote Workplaces

“One of the trends we are seeing is an increase in remote workforces. Due to the pandemic, many firms switched to remote, and in several cases developed into a fully remote workforce, or a hybrid model,” said David Peterson, managing partner, Direct Recruiters. “Another is the outsourcing of project research to offshore firms in addition to hiring in-house research teams. This is happening due to search firm capacity issues, need for faster talent mapping  and the ability to scale up or down quickly on projects.”

However the executive search industry remains strong. “There are many reasons why executive search is a high growth industry,” Mr. Peterson said. “Our industry has high growth due to no barrier to entry, so there are new firms getting in while the market is hot. Post-COVID, we are also continuing to see an uptick in private equity, venture capital and family office investing. This is driving much growth.”

The monthly unemployment report comes out tomorrow and economists surveyed by Dow Jones expect the report will show the country added 845,000 jobs last month. Hunt Scanlon will bring you the latest details tomorrow!

Related: Executive Search Firms Adapting to the New Normal

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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