885,000 More Americans Filed First-Time Jobless Claims Last Week
According to a report released by the Labor Department on Thursday, 885,000 more Americans claimed first-time jobless benefits over the last week. This is the largest number of claims since mid-September and the second week in a row we have seen an increase in claims.
Continued jobless claims fell to 5.5 million, down around 300,000 from the previous week. However, economists warn that the numbers might be going down for the wrong reason. States will typically provide jobless benefits for about 26 weeks. After this period, if someone continues to be unemployed they would enroll in other programs, such as the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program.
The worsening pandemic infection rates, increased layoffs and unemployment rates are fueling concerns of a "double-dip" recession.
Although economists believe the prospects of widespread vaccine availability from Pfizer and Moderna will help with the economic recovery, the worsening economic data indicates that Congress passing some sort of stimulus package to help in the interim, may be critical. Congress is reportedly "close" to passing a new $900 Billion Covid Relief Bill.
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