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“The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell last week to 860,000, a historically high figure that reflects economic damage from the coronavirus outbreak,” the AP reports. “Before the pandemic hit the economy, the number signing up for jobless aid had never exceeded 700,000 in a week, even during the depths of the 2007-2009 Great Recession.”
“Out-of-work Americans may see only a three-week boost to their unemployment benefits, as state and federal officials scramble to stretch out a limited pot of money and implement President Trump’s recent policy order,” the Washington Post reports. “The Trump administration offered the new details about its directive Monday, pledging additional aid would reach workers in a matter of weeks — even as its guidance quickly rekindled criticism that the White House’s actions alone are insufficient to help people weather the economic crisis wrought by the pandemic.”
Economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis project total employment reductions of 47 million, which would translate to a 32.1% unemployment rate, CNBC reports.
“The 3.3 million new unemployment insurance claims that the Labor Department reported Thursday is likely a significant undercount, experts say, because laid-off workers have been calling into state unemployment agencies much faster than the agencies can process their requests,” Politico reports.
“I just think these numbers right now are not relevant. Whether they’re bigger or smaller in the short term… the good thing about this bill is, the president is protecting these people.”
— Asked on CNBC about the record joblessness report, which totaled nearly 3.3 million people, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin downplayed the report.
Employers added 266,000 jobs in November and unemployment matched a 50-year low of 3.5%, signs the U.S. economy is withstanding a global slowdown, the Wall Street Journal reports. CNBC notes the numbers easily beat the Wall Street consensus.
Washington Post: “In more than 1,000 counties, or about one in three, the unemployment rate is higher than it was a year ago. That includes all 72 counties in Wisconsin and all 10 in New Hampshire, as well as most in Michigan, Minnesota and North Carolina. The numbers can be volatile from month to month, but this trend remains even if you look at entire quarters or years.”
Job growth came to a near halt in February after a blistering start to the year, with nonfarm payrolls increasing by just 20,000 even as the unemployment fell to 3.8 percent, CNBC reports.
The Labor Department said that 304,000 jobs were added last month, as compared to an estimate by economists of about 172,000, the New York Times reports. The unemployment rate rose to 4.0 percent. “January’s growth means that American employers have added jobs for 100 consecutive months, extending a record run. The unemployment rate is near a multidecade low, and wages — long a weak point — are rising.”
“U.S. employers extended a streak of solid hiring in May, adding 223,000 jobs and helping lower the unemployment rate to an 18-year low of 3.8 percent from 3.9 percent in April,” the AP reports.