Unemployment applications down, but the number of people receiving assistance remains high

North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — It is a good news/bad news situation when it comes to unemployment in the United States right now.

The number of people receiving benefits remains high, even though the number of people applying continues to drop.

A total of 553,000 applied for unemployment benefits this past week, a drop of 13,000 from the week before.

However, the number of people receiving benefits remains at roughly 17 million – a historically high number.

Mark Hamrick, a senior economist with Bankrate, offered some theories as to why this is happening.

“I think there probably are some instances where some individuals are deeming it not yet safe to return to work, so they may be choosing to stay out of the workforce,” said Hamrick. “And some are probably saying, ‘You know what? With that extended unemployment, I’m not sure I’m ready to go back to work yet.'”

Hamrick also offered another possibility.

Some workers might not be able to get the same number of hours they worked in the past, at least not right now. But he does believe that will change as businesses continue to reopen and the economy continues to grow.

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