NATIONAL NEWS

More Than 1 Million Americans File For Unemployment, Again

Aug 27, 2020, 7:24 AM | Updated: 7:25 am
FILE...
FILE

WASHINGTON (AP) — Just over 1 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, a sign that the coronavirus outbreak continues to threaten jobs even as the housing market, auto sales and other segments of the economy rebound from a springtime collapse.

The Labor Department reported Thursday that the number of people seeking jobless aid last week dropped by 98,000 from 1.1 million the week before.

The number of initial claims has exceeded 1 million every week but one since late March, an unprecedented streak. Before the coronavirus pandemic, they had never topped 700,000 in a week.

“Layoffs are ongoing reflecting interruptions to activity from virus containment that are likely resulting in permanent closures and job losses,’’ Rubeela Farooqi, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics, wrote in a research report.

Farooqi added that “the risk of permanent damage to the labor market remains high which will slow the pace of recovery. The return to pre-pandemic levels of prosperity is set to be an uncertain and prolonged process.’’

More than 14.5 million are collecting traditional jobless benefits — up from 1.7 million a year ago — a sign that many American families are depending on unemployment checks to keep them afloat.

Until July 31, the unemployed were receiving an extra $600 a week in federal money on top of regular state unemployment benefits, part of an extraordinary lifeline extended to help them through the crisis. The loss of that money is putting the squeeze on many families.

“My income is basically cut in half,’’ said Taylor Love, 34, an unemployed massage therapist in Austin, Texas. “Paying our mortgage is going to be a struggle. We’re going to have to dip into what little savings we have.’’

After passing a massive financial rescue package in March, congressional Republicans and Democrats have been unable to agree on more aid. President Donald Trump signed an executive order Aug. 8 offering a stripped-down version of the expanded unemployment benefits. At least 39 states have accepted or said that they would apply for federal grants that let them increase weekly benefits by $300 or $400.

Last week, nearly 608,000 people applied for jobless aid under a new program that extends eligibility for the first time to self-employed and gig workers, up from 525,000 the previous week. That figure isn’t adjusted for seasonal trends, so it’s reported separately.

Altogether, the Labor Department said that 27 million people are receiving some form of unemployment benefits, though the figure may be inflated by double-counting by states.

The pandemic has had a devastating impact on the American economy. Businesses closed and Americans stayed home to avoid infection. Economic activity plummeted. From April through June, gross domestic product — the broadest measure of economic output — shrank at an annual rate of 31.7%, by far the worst quarter on record. Employers slashed more than 22 million jobs in March and April.

Since then, the job market and the economy have been rebounding as businesses slowly reopened. Home sales and prices have been strong. Employers added nearly 9.3 million jobs in May, June and July — but that hiring surge replaced just 42% of the jobs lost in March and April.

A summertime resurgence of cases in the South and West forced many businesses to close again in July. The data firm Womply reports that business closures have mostly stabilized in the past four weeks. Still, 70% of Texas bars and 71% of California health and beauty shops were closed as of mid-August, Womply found.

Economists also worry that without additional government help the economy’s recovery will fade. “I really want Congress to come up with a benefits package,’’ said Jacob Hanson, an unemployed temp worker in Seattle. “Everyone needs a hand right now. The situation is pretty ridiculous.’’

___

AP Writer Geoff Mulvihill in Trenton, New Jersey, contributed to this story.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

National News

Georgia Democratic Senate candidate U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) answers questions from the med...
BILL BARROW and JEFF AMY, Associated Press

Democratic Sen. Warnock wins Georgia runoff against Walker

Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock has defeated Republican challenger Herschel Walker in a runoff election in Georgia.
23 hours ago
Four University of Idaho students were found dead Nov. 13 at this three-story home on King Road in ...
Veronica Miracle, Stella Chan and Jason Hanna, CNN

Investigators have quality leads in the killings of 4 students, police say

Investigators have "a lot of quality leads" about last month's killings of four University of Idaho students in an off-campus house police said.
23 hours ago
District of Columbia Police Chief Robert Contee looks on as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) passe...
MARY CLARE JALONICK, FARNOUSH AMIRI and LISA MASCARO, Associated Press

Jan. 6 ‘heroes’ honored for defending Capitol from Trump mob

Top House and Senate leaders have bestowed Congress' highest honor on law enforcement officers who defended the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
23 hours ago
The U.S. flag flies at half staff over the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, DC on May 12, 2022 ...
Madison Swenson

Gov. Cox orders flags lowered for National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox has ordered all flags be lowered to half-staff on Wednesday as part of National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.
23 hours ago
Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally at Legacy Sports USA on October 09, 2...
MICHAEL R. SISAK Associated Press

Trump Organization convicted in executive tax dodge scheme

Donald Trump’s company was convicted of tax fraud on Tuesday in a case brought by the Manhattan District Attorney.
23 hours ago
A sign marking the entrance to Hildale in Utah, from Colorado City in Arizona. (FILE)...
Larry D. Curtis

FBI says polygamist leader took 20 wives, many underage, alleges illicit sexual activities

Probable cause documents lay out illicit sexual activities of a small religious group — that included underage girls — under the orders of Samuel Rappylee Bateman, living on the Utah and Arizona border. The documents also detail how girls were helped to run away by Bateman’s adult plural wives after they were removed from family […]
23 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 reasons you may want to consider apartment life over owning a home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Take this quiz before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Diverse Group of Energetic Professionals Team Meeting in Modern Office: Brainstorming IT Programmer...
Les Olson

Don’t let a ransomware attack get you down | Protect your workplace today with cyber insurance

Business owners and operators should be on guard to protect their workplace. Cyber insurance can protect you from online attacks.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
More Than 1 Million Americans File For Unemployment, Again