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Over 2.9 Million Americans Filed Unemployment Claims Last Week

Over 2.9 Million Americans Filed Unemployment Claims Last Week

Lowest amount of claims since March 15.

The Wuhan coronavirus shutdown continues to affect the economy as another 2.9 million Americans filed for unemployment claims last week.

While the number continues to decrease, it means 35 million Americans have filed claims in the past two months.

Last week is the lowest amount of claims since the week of March 15.

From The Wall Street Journal:

The number of Americans seeking jobless aid is still at historically high levels but has subsided since an initial surge in layoffs drove claims up to a weekly peak of nearly 7 million at the end March.

“The numbers are very high, but they’re stepping down every week, and I see no reason why that decline in filings wouldn’t continue,” Keith Hall, chief economist for the Council of Economic Advisers under former President George W. Bush said ahead of Thursday’s report. “Employers are likely poised to bring people back, but right now we’re in a holding pattern.”

The amount could be higher because states cannot process all the forms in a timely manner, especially since independent contractors and self-employed people can now file for unemployment:

Many states are receiving applications under a provision of a federal stimulus bill that allows workers who were largely ineligible for benefits before the pandemic, including independent contractors and self-employed people, to apply for unemployment benefits. About 800,000 individuals had filed such claims last week and slightly more than 1 million in the week prior, according to the Labor Department. Because those claims aren’t seasonally adjusted, they are excluded from the main claims figures.

State labor departments have been reallocating staff from other departments to process jobless claims and answer phone calls during the economic crisis. Some have turned to tech giants including Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google for new technology to handle the historic number of claims. Such efforts helped Rhode Island begin rolling out a federal unemployment program faster than other states, and Kansas to field more calls than earlier in the crisis.

However, states have begun opening their economies. Indiana, Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah have lifted some restrictions on businesses.


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My local TGIFridays took down their sign and laid off all their employees permanently, early this week.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to Neo. | May 14, 2020 at 12:22 pm

    Read a couple of weeks ago that they were struggling not to go bankrupt already.

    From what I’ve observed some of the national chain such as Barnes & Noble, and JC Penney, have evidently found it much more profitable to keep most of all their employees laid off and on unemployment, just selling online.

I’m sure it’s not just me, the local airhead news reader read the new record unemployment numbers, and it seems there is quite a bit of glee in her voice.

The problem is now a lot of those job losses are likely coming from white-collar ranks — the “information workers” who have been able to work from home. Those are larger salaries and the people who have been doing their best to keep the economy afloat. We’ve got to get the overall economy rolling again.

There’s also a lot of noise out there that 40% of the job losses are effectively “permanent”, which means the employer has gone under or simply will not be hiring back the laid off workers. Clearly, once the economy gets back on track, new and expanding businesses will be able to absorb some of those folks, but the media thinks it is buttressing Obama’s “those jobs aren’t coming back” statement of a few years ago.

The sole good piece of timing is that this did not happen in 2008 at the peak of the real estate bubble.

notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | May 14, 2020 at 4:16 pm

Quartz Fires Nearly Half Of Its Journalists

Zero Hedge

Over 30,000,000 unemployed is what all the talk is about.

That’s a huge mischaracterization: it is far too benign. We don’t have 30+-million unemployed from the dead-hand machinations of the business cycle. The Government deliberately threw 30+-million people out of work, backing up their edict with the police power of the State.

There is nothing so benign as ‘unemployed’ about this: it is a raw exercise of State power throwing people out of work. Put the responsibility and the blame where it belongs. Don’t sugar-coat what actually happened.