Number Crunch: Covid-19 Cases Rise, Jobless Claims Hold Steady

U.S. Covid-19 cases continue to rise, while unemployment claims seem to level off.
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Daily Covid-19 cases in the U.S. topped 100,000 for the first time, surpassing the previous record of 99,000 on Oct. 30, according to Johns Hopkins University.

States Reporting Record Daily Infections on Wednesday: Indiana, Minnesota, Iowa, Colorado, Idaho and Pennsylvania (set its record Tuesday)

Quick Numbers:

  1. Total U.S. Cases: 9.5 Million
  2. Total U.S. Hospitalizations: 52,000
  3. Daily Deaths: >1,000
  4. Seven-Day U.S. Average Case Count: 89,859
  5. Locally Transmitted Cases in China on Wednesday: 8


While virus cases are surging, layoffs seem to have stabilized as new applications for unemployment benefits held close to steady last week, WSJ reports.

Weekly initial claims for unemployment benefits decreased by 7,000 to a seasonally adjusted 751,000 for the week ending Oct. 31.

  • It’s the lowest level since Covid-19 related lockdowns began in mid-March.

The number of people collecting jobless benefits through regular state programs also decreased, falling by 538,000 to around 7.3 million for the week ending Oct. 24.

  • Since March, that’s also the lowest level, which means many workers have either recalled to jobs, been hired elsewhere or exhausted state benefits.

In total, the labor market has “recouped more than half of the 22 million jobs that were lost in March and April, but the pace of the recovery slowed in recent months.”

Tomorrow’s release of the October jobs report should shed more light on the topic. Economists surveyed by WSJ project employers added 530,000 jobs in October, down from 661,000 jobs added in September and 1.5 million in August.

Justin Oh:

If you look at today’s U.S. Covid-19 deaths chart, you can see the first sign of a spike from the numbers yesterday. If deaths continue to rise to meaningful levels, it would be the strongest argument for states to implement stricter lockdowns. If this happens amid a continually weak labor market and without fiscal stimulus, that could mean bad things for the market. The uncertainty here is why we are keeping our target cash allocations at 15% for now.

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