Posts Tagged ‘COVID-19’

The number of initial unemployment claims for unemployment compensation in the United States fell below one million for only the second time since the beginning of the COVID crisis. But the number of continued claims for unemployment compensation is once again on the rise, signaling a continuation of the Pandemic Depression.

This morning, the U.S. Department of Labor (pdf) reported that, during the week ending last Saturday, another 881 thousand American workers filed initial claims for unemployment compensation. While initial unemployment claims remain well below the recent peak of about seven million in March, they are far higher than pre-pandemic levels of about 200 thousand claims a week.

The number of continued claims for unemployment compensation, while below its peak, rose from the previous week and was more than 29 million American workers—a figure that includes workers receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.*

To put this number in perspective, consider the fact that the highest number of continued claims for unemployment compensation during the Second Great Depression was 6.6 million (at the end of May 2009), and in the week before the Pandemic Depression began there were only 1.6 million continued claims.

In the meantime, at least 1,074 new coronavirus deaths and 40,607 new cases were reported in the United States yesterday. As of this morning, more than 6.1 million Americans have been infected with the coronavirus and at least 185.6 thousand have died—more than any other country in the world, which has received barely a mention from anyone in the Trump administration.

Meanwhile, many colleges and universities that have attempted to reopen with students in residence are reporting hundreds of (and, in some cases, more than a thousand) novel coronavirus infections.

The result will be new waves of business slowdowns and closures and schools returning to online teaching, which in turn will mean millions more U.S. workers furloughed and laid off. Unless there is a radical change in economic policies and institutions, Americans can expect to see steady streams of both initial unemployment claims and continued claims in the weeks and months ahead.

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*This is the special program for business owners, the self-employed, independent contractors, and gig workers not receiving other unemployment insurance.

The number of initial claims for unemployment compensation in the United States once again surpassed one million—for the 21st time in the past 22 weeks—signaling a continuation of the Pandemic Depression.

This morning, the U.S. Department of Labor (pdf) reported that, during the week ending last Saturday, another 1 million American workers filed initial claims for unemployment compensation. While initial unemployment claims remain well below the recent peak of about seven million in March, they are far higher than pre-pandemic levels of about 200 thousand claims a week.

The number of continued claims for unemployment compensation has also fallen from its peak but the total from the previous week (the series of continued claims lags initial claims by one week) was still 27 million American workers—a figure that includes workers receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.*

To put this number in perspective, consider the fact that the highest number of continued claims for unemployment compensation during the Second Great Depression was 6.6 million (at the end of May 2009), and in the week before the Pandemic Depression began there were only 1.6 million continued claims.

In the meantime, at least 1,193 new coronavirus deaths and 44,934 new cases were reported in the United States yesterday. As of this morning, more than 5.9 million Americans have been infected with the coronavirus and at least 179.9 thousand have died—more than any other country in the world, which has received barely a mention during the Republican national convention.

The result will be new waves of business slowdowns and closures, which in turn will mean millions more U.S. workers furloughed and laid off. Unless there is a radical change in economic policies and institutions, Americans can expect to see steady streams of both initial unemployment claims and continued claims in the weeks and months ahead.

———

*This is the special program for business owners, the self-employed, independent contractors, and gig workers not receiving other unemployment insurance.

The number of initial unemployment claims for unemployment compensation in the United States once again increased, to over one million. But the cumulative number of initial claims is still staggering, reaching 57.4 million workers by the end of last week.

This morning, the U.S. Department of Labor (pdf) reported that, during the week ending last Saturday, another 1.1 million American workers filed initial claims for unemployment compensation. They’re the third group to file for unemployment claims during the pandemic who are not going to benefit from the additional $600 benefit that was authorized in the CARES Act but which has now expired. Moreover, funds from the Paycheck Protection Program, which gave grants and loans to companies to keep workers on payroll, have been running out for many recipients.

I can’t pay my rent, electric bill, food, or car payments. I’m able to get the bare minimum with my allotted food stamps

said Sabrina Wickward Arce, a cosmetologist who is struggling to find a new job in Miami, Florida.

Here is a breakdown of each of the past twenty-two weeks:

• week ending on 21 March—3.31 million

• week ending on 28 March—6.87 million

• week ending on 4 April—6.62 million

• week ending on 11 April—5.24 million

• week ending on 18 April—4.44 million

• week ending on 25 April—3.87 million

• week ending on 2 May—3.18 million

• week ending on 9 May—2.69 million

• week ending on 16 May—2.45 million

• week ending on 23 May—2.12 million

• week ending on 30 May—1.90 million

• week ending on 6 June—1.57 million

• week ending on 13 June—1.54 million

• week ending on 20 June—1.48 million

• week ending on 27 June—1.41 million

• week ending on 4 July—1.31 million

• week ending on 11 July—1.31 million

• week ending on 18 July—1.42 million

• week ending on 25 July—1.44 million

• week ending on 1 August—1.19 million

• week ending on 8 August—971 thousand

• week ending on 8 August—1.11 million

While the number of continued claims for unemployment compensation has continued to fall from its peak, the total from the previous week (the series of continued claims lags initial claims by one week) was still 14.8 million workers. And we need to add to that an additional 11.2 million workers receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.* Therefore, approximately 26 million workers are jobless and receiving some form of unemployment compensation.

To put this number in perspective, consider the fact that the highest number of continued claims for unemployment compensation during the Second Great Depression was 6.6 million (at the end of May 2009), and in the week before the COVID Crisis there were only 1.8 million continued claims.

In the meantime, at least 1,295 new coronavirus deaths and 43,006 new cases were reported in the United States yesterday. As of this morning, more than 5.5 million Americans have been infected with the coronavirus and at least 173 thousand have died—with no end in sight.

The United States can therefore expect to experience new waves of business closures, which in turn will mean more American workers furloughed and laid off, and therefore steady streams of both initial unemployment claims and continued claims, in the weeks and months ahead.

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*This is the special program for business owners, the self-employed, independent contractors, and gig workers not receiving other unemployment insurance.

COVID claims

The number of initial unemployment claims for unemployment compensation in the United States fell below one million for the first time since the beginning of the COVID crisis. But the cumulative number of initial claims is still staggering, reaching 56.3 million workers by the end of last week.

This morning, the U.S. Department of Labor (pdf) reported that, during the week ending last Saturday, another 963 thousand American workers filed initial claims for unemployment compensation. They’re the second group to file for unemployment claims during the pandemic who are not going to rise the additional $600 benefit that was authorized in the CARES Act.

Here is a breakdown of each of the past twenty-one weeks:

• week ending on 21 March—3.31 million

• week ending on 28 March—6.87 million

• week ending on 4 April—6.62 million

• week ending on 11 April—5.24 million

• week ending on 18 April—4.44 million

• week ending on 25 April—3.87 million

• week ending on 2 May—3.18 million

• week ending on 9 May—2.69 million

• week ending on 16 May—2.45 million

• week ending on 23 May—2.12 million

• week ending on 30 May—1.90 million

• week ending on 6 June—1.57 million

• week ending on 13 June—1.54 million

• week ending on 20 June—1.48 million

• week ending on 27 June—1.41 million

• week ending on 4 July—1.31 million

• week ending on 11 July—1.31 million

• week ending on 18 July—1.42 million

• week ending on 25 July—1.44 million

• week ending on 1 August—1.19 million

• week ending on 8 August—0.96 million

While the number of continued claims for unemployment compensation has continued to fall from its peak, the total from the previous week (the series of continued claims lags initial claims by one week) was still 15.5 million workers. And we need to add to that an additional 10.7 million workers receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.* Therefore, as of 10 days ago, 26.2 million workers were receiving some form of unemployment compensation.

To understand the magnitude of this figure, we need to compare it to the number of continued claims in late May 2009 (6.6 million), the worst point of the so-called Great Recession. Right now, in the midst of the Pandemic Depression, the number of American workers receiving unemployment compensation is 4 times what it was at the nadir of the Second Great Depression.

daily-covid-cases-per-million-three-day-avg

In the meantime, at least 1,478 new coronavirus deaths and 54,187 new cases were reported in the United States on 12 August. As of this afternoon, more than 5,217,000 Americans have been infected with the coronavirus and at least 166,100 have died. The three-day rolling average of new cases per million people in the country was 153.4 compared to 32.5 cases for the world as a whole.

We can therefore expect to see new waves of business closures, which in turn will mean more American workers furloughed and laid off, and therefore steady streams of both initial unemployment claims and continued claims, in the weeks and months ahead.

 

*This is the special program for business owners, the self-employed, independent contractors, or gig workers not receiving other unemployment insurance.

initial claims-20

The total number of initial unemployment claims for unemployment compensation in the United State continues to rise.

This morning, the U.S. Department of Labor (pdf) reported that, during the week ending last Saturday, another 1.19 million American workers filed initial claims for unemployment compensation. That means initial jobless claims exceeded one million for the twentieth week in a row.

Here is a breakdown of each week:

• week ending on 21 March—3.31 million

• week ending on 28 March—6.87 million

• week ending on 4 April—6.62 million

• week ending on 11 April—5.24 million

• week ending on 18 April—4.44 million

• week ending on 25 April—3.87 million

• week ending on 2 May—3.18 million

• week ending on 9 May—2.69 million

• week ending on 16 May—2.45 million

• week ending on 23 May—2.12 million

• week ending on 30 May—1.90 million

• week ending on 6 June—1.57 million

• week ending on 13 June—1.54 million

• week ending on 20 June—1.48 million

• week ending on 27 June—1.41 million

• week ending on 4 July—1.31 million

• week ending on 11 July—1.31 million

• week ending on 18 July—1.42 million

• week ending on 25 July—1.44 million

• week ending on 1 August—1.19 million

All told, 55.3 million American workers have filed initial unemployment claims during the past twenty weeks.

To put that into  perspective, I produced the chart above comparing the cumulative totals of the initial unemployment claims for the current pandemic compared to two other relevant periods: the worst point of the Second Great Depression (from mid-January to late May 2009) and the weeks immediately preceding the current depression (from early November 2019 to late March 2020).

As readers can see, the differences are stunning: 12.6 million workers during the Second Great Depression, 4.4 million in the period just before the COVID crisis, and more than 55 million in the past twenty weeks.

And now that emergency federal benefits have expired, the unemployed—both continuing cases and newly laid-off workers—will not be receiving the $600-a-week supplement that helped them pay their bills through the spring and early summer.

daily-covid-cases-per-million-three-day-avg

In the meantime, at least 1,253 new coronavirus deaths and 53,726 new cases were reported in the United States. As of this morning, more than 4,832,400 Americans have been infected with the coronavirus and at least 158,500 have died. The three-day rolling average of new cases per million people in the country was 157 compared to 31 cases for the world as a whole.

We can therefore expect to see new waves of business closures, which in turn will mean more American workers furloughed and laid off, and therefore a steady stream of initial unemployment claims, in the weeks and months ahead.

As Vijay Prashad [ht: ja] has explained,

The incompetence of the Trump administration—mirroring the dangerous incompetence of Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil and Narendra Modi of India—coming on top of a destroyed public health system and a failed private sector testing establishment has condemned millions of people in the U.S. to catch the disease and pass it on. There is—thus far—no prospect of breaking the chain of infection in the United States.

initial claims-19

Initial unemployment claims in the United State continue to rise.

This morning, the U.S. Department of Labor (pdf) reported that, during the week ending last Saturday, another 1.43 million American workers filed initial claims for unemployment compensation. Last week, it was 1.42 million.

Here is a breakdown of each week:

• week ending on 21 March—3.31 million

• week ending on 28 March—6.87 million

• week ending on 4 April—6.62 million

• week ending on 11 April—5.24 million

• week ending on 18 April—4.44 million

• week ending on 25 April—3.87 million

• week ending on 2 May—3.18 million

• week ending on 9 May—2.69 million

• week ending on 16 May—2.45 million

• week ending on 23 May—2.12 million

• week ending on 30 May—1.90 million

• week ending on 6 June—1.57 million

• week ending on 13 June—1.54 million

• week ending on 20 June—1.48 million

• week ending on 27 June—1.41 million

• week ending on 4 July—1.31 million

• week ending on 11 July—1.31 million

• week ending on 18 July—1.42 million

• week ending on 25 July—1.43 million

All told, 54.1 million American workers have filed initial unemployment claims during the past nineteen weeks.

To put that into some kind of perspective, I produced the chart above comparing the cumulative totals of the initial unemployment claims for the current pandemic compared to two other relevant periods: the worst point of the Second Great Depression (from late January to late May 2009) and the weeks immediately preceding the current depression (from early November 2019 to late March 2020).

As readers can see in the chart above, the differences are stunning: 12 million workers during the Second Great Depression, 4.2 million in the period just before the COVID crisis, and more than 54 million in the past nineteen weeks.

GDP

The extraordinarily high numbers of initial claims should come as no surprise, given the decline in economic activity throughout the country. This morning, the Commerce Department reported that real Gross Domestic Product decreased at an annual rate of 32.9 percent in the second quarter of 2020 (corresponding to a drop of 9.5 percent from the first quarter). That is, by far, the most severe drop in the postwar period (the next most significant decline came in the first quarter of 1958, on the order of 10 percent on an annual basis).

daily-covid-cases-per-million-three-day-avg

In the meantime, many U.S. states continue to set daily records for new confirmed COVID-19 cases. Today, the three-day rolling average of new cases per million people in the country reached 194 compared to 32 cases for the world as a whole.

We can therefore expect to see new waves of business closures, which in turn will mean more American workers furloughed and laid off, and therefore a steady stream of initial unemployment claims, in the weeks and months ahead.

It is hard to imagine a worse combination to combat the fallout from the novel coronavirus pandemic than Republican governors, the administration of Donald Trump, the GOP-controlled Senate, and the basic institutions of U.S. capitalism.