Jobless Claims Data Expected to Show Progress: Live Updates

Recognition…Saul Martinez for the New York Times

Government data from Thursday is expected to show that new government claims to unemployment insurance have continued to decline over the past week as the improving public health situation and easing of pandemic-related restrictions allowed the labor market to continue its gradual normalization .

Claims for unemployment benefits remain high by historical standards, but have fallen significantly in recent weeks after progress stalled in the fall and winter. The weekly requests for government benefits, which peaked last spring of more than six million, fell below 700,000 for the first time at the end of March; Economists expect the Department of Labor to report Thursday that filings have fallen below 600,000 for the third year in a row.

“In the past few weeks, claims data has improved dramatically, and I think this suggests that the labor market recovery accelerated in April,” said Daniel Zhao, chief economist at ZipRecruiter.

Economists should get a clearer picture of progress in the labor market on Friday when the Labor Department releases data on recruitment and unemployment in April. The report is expected to show employers created about a million jobs in the last month, up from 916,000 in March. The leisure and hospitality industry, which was hardest hit during the early stages of the pandemic last spring, has led the recovery in recent months, a trend that forecasters believe continued into April.

Many employers have said in the last few weeks that they want to hire even faster but are having difficulties finding enough workers. Some have blamed increased unemployment benefits for preventing people from returning to work. On Tuesday, Montana Governor Greg Gianforte said his state would be pulling out of a federal program that provides improved benefits to unemployed workers and instead pay recipients a $ 1,200 bonus when they find new jobs.

Economic research has shown that unemployment benefits can reduce the intensity of job search for workers. However, most studies find that the overall labor market impact is small, especially when unemployment is high. And Mr. Zhao and other economists say there are other reasons why labor supply is recovering more slowly than labor demand. Many potential employees are juggling childcare or other chores at home. others remain cautious about the health risks of returning to personal work.

“I think we will see that the labor supply will improve quite dramatically in the coming months as the pandemic subsides,” Zhao said.

Tim Lorentz with the LaBoata in Spokane, Wash.Recognition…Allie Lorentz

Tim Lorentz, a special education teacher in Spokane, Washington, loves both cars and boats. He has driven cars and owned a variety of muscle and exotic vehicles.

“Car guys always want to own or drive a unique car that no one else owns,” said Lorentz. “I created a convertible with eight passengers. Why not a boat over a convertible? I’ve never seen one like this before. “

And so the LaBoata was born. Mr. Lorentz, now 65, built it in 2009 using a white 1993 LeBaron, a used 17-foot boat that he got for $ 100, reports Mercedes Lilienthal for the New York Times.

The LaBoata was “instantly funny,” he said until it received a letter from the Washington Department of Motor Vehicles canceling its registration and title. The authorities had noticed his converted convertible and were not amused. He removed the boat shell, drove the car to the DMV and had it rechecked, restored, and re-licensed. He went home and turned the boat back on, and since then he has had no problems.

Mr. Lorentz is part of a community that builds cars from scrap. 19-year-old Kelvin Odartei Cruickshank, who lives in Accra, Ghana’s capital, built a two-person car from the ground up that looks like a dilapidated DeLorean. It took three years to complete. Mr. Cruickshank used about $ 200 scrap metal and parts that are not normally used in automobiles for financial reasons.

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