Millions of Americans continue to be in need of unemployment aid as states begin to reopen, and unemployment benefits fall shy.
What We Know:
- So far, 44 million Americans have filed for unemployment over the last 12 weeks, meaning over 10% of Americans are in search of employment or unemployment benefits.
- Unemployment claims have fallen since peaking at 6.9 million in March. Though the numbers are lowering, unemployment claims are still at an historically high point, leading to millions of Americans applying for government aid.
- According to CNN News, 706,000 people in 42 states filed initial claims for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program last week, slightly lower numbers than the week prior. Last month, economist began to focus on continued claims to better asses the current state of the labor market.
- In continuance, the economy added 2.5 million new jobs showing that the reopening of states was in fact showing some slight improvement. Though more jobs were added to the economy, unemployment claims still remained high.
- As many Americans continue to add to the jobless claims, many states are beginning to be drained of their unemployment trust fund forcing them to borrow from the federal government to pay for their share of benefits.
- As many business call back their employees, lawmakers on Capitol Hill are divided over whether to extend the $600 federal weekly boost, which was part of Congress’ $2 trillion coronavirus relief package and is set to expire at the end of July.
- Many Republicans feel that the relief package is a factor in the high numbers of unemployment claims, believing that it is influencing many to not seek out employment opportunities. Committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa stated “That doesn’t sound like a recipe for economic growth, especially given last week’s jobs report, which shows people are returning to their jobs and that millions more expect to return soon.”
- Democrats, on the other hand, believe that if benefits are stripped then the current numbers will just begin to spike again. Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden stated “So bottom line, this crisis will go on a lot longer if the Trump administration and Senate Republicans start yanking out these key pillars of economic support like supercharged unemployment benefits.”
Though the numbers of the jobless lessen, the fact still remains that millions of Americans are struggling to dig themselves out of a plunging economy.