Breaking News
More () »

'Our economy is really complex and dynamic' | Economists say folks returning to prior jobs not biggest factor in lower jobless claims

WCNC's Verify team tackled one claim spreading online about what's contributing to the historically low unemployment rate.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Despite all the tough money headlines right now, the labor market is recovering from the height of the pandemic.

The latest numbers from the U.S. Labor Department show continuing claims for state unemployment fell to their lowest levels in decades.

Some people want to know what these numbers really mean.


Is the return of folks to their pre-pandemic jobs the biggest factor in declining jobless claims?




This is false.

No, we can verify the return of folks to their pre-pandemic jobs is not the biggest factor in declining jobless claims.


The Labor Department reported the U.S. employment picture is still historically tight. Job openings outnumber people looking for work.

Fullencamp said that's actually driving people to look outside their prior positions.

"This is people voluntarily quitting their jobs to find new jobs," Fullencamp said. "And what we're seeing is that a lot of people are quitting their jobs to take other jobs that pay a lot higher, we're talking 5-, 6-, 7% more in terms of their wages, and maybe even higher."

Labor numbers show the pandemic has seen record numbers quitting. The latest report shows 4.4 million people chose to leave their jobs in February but hires that month totaled 6.7 million.

"That creates a churn effect," Fullencamp said. "It creates a shortage in certain places. And that also puts upward pressure on wages. It may even start to resolve this shortage of labor by drawing other people in from the sidelines."

That said, factors in the current trends are countless, according to Fullencamp.

"Our economy is really complex and dynamic," Fullencamp said. "And this is another great case, of some things pushing the supply of workers down, and some things pushing the demand for workers up."

VERIFY is dedicated to helping the public distinguish between true and false information. The VERIFY team, with help from questions submitted by the audience, tracks the spread of stories or claims that need clarification or correction. Have something you want VERIFIED? Text lus at 704-329-3600 or visit /verify.

Before You Leave, Check This Out