Here’s what you need to know to navigate the markets today.
• U.S. jobless claims ticked up slightly to 353,000 last week, but the four-week moving average fell to a new pandemic low, indicating the job market recovery remains sound despite the uncertainty of the Delta variant, The Wall Street Journal reported. Unemployment claims were up from a revised 349,000 the previous week, the lowest level for claims since the coronavirus hit the U.S. in March 2020, according to the Labor Department. The four-week moving average of 366,500 is also at its lowest point during the pandemic. Applications for unemployment have dropped more than 50% since the start of the year and continued declining over the summer, despite the increasing numbers of new Covid-19 infections and hospitalizations. “Demand for labor remains very strong,” said Gus Faucher, chief economist at PNC Financial Services.
Continuing claims for state unemployment benefits are also down to pandemic lows, with about 2.86 million people collecting benefits in the week ended Aug. 14, down from 2.87 million the week before. Employers added 943,000 jobs in July, the most in 11 months, and the unemployment rate fell to 5.4%, while job openings reached a record 10.1 million at the end of June. Although state and local governments have not yet imposed strict limits on business activity, the Delta variant is discouraging consumers from traveling or gathering, and could slow the labor-market recovery if people avoid taking jobs for fear of catching the virus, the Journal said.
• Business leaders from Big Tech to insurance committed billions of dollars to strengthen cybersecurity efforts during Wednesday’s meeting with President Joe Biden, CNBC reported. The White House gathering followed several high-profile cyberattacks, affecting a range of companies from government software contractor
to oil pipeline operator Colonial Pipeline. Attendees committed to working toward new industry standards, supplying other businesses with stronger security tools, and training workers for the roughly 500,000 unfilled U.S. cybersecurity jobs. Biden recently signed an executive order requiring federal agencies to use two-factor authentication for log-ins, which can help thwart hackers.
The White House said Apple is making security improvements across its technology supply chains, including working with suppliers to adopt multifactor authentication and security training. Google is investing more than $10 billion over five years to improve cybersecurity and pledged to train 100,000 Americans for technical jobs in IT support and data analytics.
committed $20 billion over five years for more security tools, and $150 million to help government agencies upgrade their security and expand cybersecurity training partnerships.
will train more than 150,000 people in cybersecurity skills in three years, and work with more than 20 historically Black colleges and universities to start Cybersecurity Leadership Centers to better diversity the workforce.
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