Last week the number of Americans seeking unemployment aid reached 742,000. This is the first increase in five weeks. It is indicated that the surge in coronavirus cases have slowed down the economy and has also forced many more companies to cut jobs.
As the weather becomes colder, and if the pandemic worsens, there will be more layoffs in the coming weeks. Bars and restaurants across the country are closing down again with new restrictions and curfews. Consumer demand is also falling. Twenty million Americans are now receiving some form of aid. Approximately half of them will lose unemployment benefits as two federal programs will expire at the end of the year.
On Thursday, the government said that the number of people who receive traditional unemployment benefits fell from 6.8 million to 6.4 million. A part of this fall reflects increased hiring. But another part of it shows that many of the jobless have used up their state employment aid, which is generally available for six months. They would have moved to a federal extended benefits program that would continue aid for another 13 weeks.
Two federal programs expire on December 26, 2020. Century Foundation estimates that this will cause 12 million Americans to lose benefits. Congress has to work together and extend new benefits and stimulus programs. Or else the economy will go into deep recession.
Source AP News