Jobless Claims Fall Slightly Amid Coronavirus Surge
Another 751,000 people filed for unemployment benefits last week (on a seasonally adjusted basis), according to new data released Thursday by the Labor Department—that’s a slight drop from last week, but claims remain incredibly high as the labor market struggles to recover.
This is the ninth week in a row that claims have stagnated above 700,000 after reaching a record-breaking high of 6.9 million during the early days of the pandemic in March.
Another 359,667 people applied for benefits through the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program for workers who aren’t eligible for traditional state benefits, like freelancers and gig workers.
22.6 million. That’s how many Americans are receiving some form of government unemployment benefit.
The United States is facing another alarming surge in coronavirus cases that could spell more pain for the labor market. That surge brings the potential for new lockdown orders, which along with cooler weather could mean trouble for restaurants and retail businesses that rely on foot traffic and outdoor space.
“New unemployment claims are lower, but hardly in the realm where we can take a great deal of reassurance from the present situation or near-term outlook,” said Mark Hamrick, Bankrate’s senior economic analyst.
New data from the Commerce Department Thursday showed that the economy grew a staggering 33.1% on an annualized basis in the third quarter, or 7.4% from the second quarter. That record-breaking number doesn’t tell the whole story, however: despite the seemingly massive growth, the economy still has a long way to go to recoup the massive losses it suffered earlier this spring.
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