by Bruce Walker
Minnesota’s unemployment numbers continue to tick slightly upward, according to U.S. Department of Labor numbers released Thursday morning.
The state added another 28,615 to its unemployment ranks in the week ending May 23, down only 278 claims from the previous week’s 28,893 claims. The total number of claims reported last week is 443,254, up 5,564 from the prior week’s reported 427,690 unemployment claims.
States are gradually restarting their economies by letting some businesses – from gyms, retail shops and restaurants to hair and nail salons – reopen with some restrictions. As some of these employers, including automakers, have recalled a portion of their laid-off employees, the number of people receiving unemployment benefits has fallen.
Nationally, another 2 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits, bringing the total for the past 10 weeks to more than 40 million. Virginia had the biggest spike in claims with a 31 percent jump, and Washington state had the steepest drop with a 61 percent decline. California, as is the norm for the most populous state, had the most claims at more than 212,000.
An economic adviser to the Trump administration has predicted that the nation’s unemployment rate will top 20 percent when numbers are released June 5, according to Politico. After June, the expectation is that unemployment rates will begin to trend back toward historic norms as the economy begins to recover, Kevin Hassett told CNN.
Whether the U.S. economy will rebound quickly once restrictions are fully lifted remains to be seen.
“The U.S. unemployment crisis will not stand in the way of a near-term economic recovery but is also unlikely to go away quickly,” Goldman Sachs wrote Tuesday. “Although the uncertainty is unusually large, we still see the U.S. unemployment rate around 8% in late 2021, well above the levels in most other advanced economies.”
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Bruce Walker is a regional editor at The Center Square. He previously worked as editor at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy’s MichiganScience magazine and The Heartland Institute’s InfoTech & Telecom News.
Photo “Unemployment Office” by Burt Lum. CC BY 2.0.