US jobless claims rise to historically high of 898,000

2020-10-15 21:02:31
US jobless claims rise to historically high of 898,000

The number of people in the United States seeking jobless benefits rose last week by the most in two months, to 898,000, a historically high number that is stoking fears the COVID-19 pandemic was inflicting lasting damage to the US labor market.

Thursday’s report from the US Labor Department coincides with other recent data that have signaled a slowdown in hiring. The US economy is still roughly 10.7 million jobs short of recovering all the 22 million jobs that were lost when the coronavirus pandemic struck in early spring.

Confirmed coronavirus cases in the US have been rising again in the past month, likely causing more Americans to avoid restaurants, shopping and engaging in other commerce.

A report Thursday from Moody’s Analytics, a forecasting firm, and Morning Consult, a polling outfit, found that millions of people remain dependent on US government aid.

The economic hardship wrought by the coronavirus crisis is a major hurdle to President Donald Trump’s chances of getting a second term in the White House when Americans go to the polls on November 3.

With new COVID-19 cases surging across the country and the White House and Congress struggling to agree on another rescue package for businesses and the unemployed, claims are likely to remain elevated.

About 3.8 million people in the US had permanently lost their jobs in September, with another 2.4 million unemployed for more than six months. Economists fear those numbers could swell.

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