Key Highlights

  • Additional 1.5M people applied for unemployment benefits last week, according to Labor Department
  • 13th straight week state filings exceeded 1M
  • Claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, federal program fro self-employed and independent contractors, added another 760,000

The latest tally for state unemployment claims hit 1.5M last week. Pre-pandemic, the highest number of unemployment claims filed in one week had been 695,000 in 1982. Such astronomical numbers of 1M+ unemployment filings has been relentless for 13 consecutive weeks.

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Heidi Shierholz, director of policy at the Economic Policy Institute, told The New York Times, ”It’s a sustained hemorrhaging of jobs unlike anything we’ve seen.

Though some small businesses are beginning to re-open and re-hire, other businesses such as Hilton Worldwide, AT&T and 24 Hour Fitness are doing some combination of eliminating jobs globally, extending previous furloughs and hour/wage cuts, permanently close stores or filing for bankruptcy. Other businesses, with no revenue for several months, have limited, if any, options to pay for new sanitation and health regimens necessary to open.

Amanda Ballantyne, executive director of Main Street Alliance, an advocacy group for small businesses, said, “None of the (federal) relief packages have included specific funding for safety retrofitting, purchasing of safety equipment or even helping businesses getting a handle on uniform PPP for employees and customers.”

Economists recognize that current layoffs are smaller than the number of layoff that happened in March and April but warn that joblessness appears to be reaching deeper into the economy.

Martha Gimbel, an economist and labor market expert at Schmidt Futures, a philanthropic initiative, said, “What you’re seeing right now is economic scarring starting to happen. Layoffs that happened at the beginning of this (COVID pandemic) likely were intended as temporary. But if you’re laying off people now, that’s probably a long-term business decision.”


Thanks to The New York Times and National Public Radio.

Also read: How Coronavirus May Change Your Nest Home and/or Apartment, 14.7% Jobless Rate – Highest Since Great Depression, Only 26.1% of Renters Likely to Renew Their Leases in Next 6 Months

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