DNC on Latest Unemployment Numbers

DNC Chair and former Labor Secretary Tom Perez released the following statement after more than 1 million Americans filed initial claims for unemployment last week:

“Another week of Donald Trump’s chaos, another million Americans filing for unemployment. Trump’s recession has now caused 23 consecutive weeks of more Americans filing unemployment claims than any week during any previous recession. There are more than 27 million Americans currently receiving some type of unemployment insurance. And yet, Donald Trump and Republicans have spent the entire Republican National Convention ignoring reality. Instead, Donald Trump has been congratulating himself, trying to sabotage the Post Office, and pressuring the CDC to discourage widespread testing—which could cost even more lives. Meanwhile, the White House continues to drag its feet, cutting unemployment benefits, and letting small businesses fail.

“The numbers don’t lie. America is going in the wrong direction under Donald Trump. And the American people are paying the price for his inaction, incompetence, and inexperience. We need new leadership in the White House and across the country. We need Democrats at every level of government working to end this pandemic, put Americans back to work safely, and move our nation forward toward into a new era of justice, equality, and economic opportunity. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will begin that era. They will lead us out of this crisis. And together, we will build back better than ever.”

For 23 consecutive weeks, more people have filed for unemployment benefits than during the single worst week of the Great Recession.

Yahoo: “Another 1 million Americans filed for first-time unemployment insurance benefits last week, as the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic continue to reverberate across the economy.”

University of Michigan professor Justin Wolfers: “We are now at 22 weeks in a row in which more people have filed for unemployment benefits than during the single worst week of the Great Recession.”

As many as 27 million Americans are receiving some form of unemployment relief.

Washington Post: “Altogether, the Labor Department said that 27 million people are receiving some form of unemployment benefits, though the figure may be inflated by double-counting by states.”

58 million Americans have filed for unemployment since the pandemic began.

Yahoo: “Since the week ended March 20 this year, more than 58 million Americans have so far filed new unemployment insurance claims.”

16.3 million Amerians are unemployed and the pace of job growth slowed considerably in July.

Reuters: “July U.S. employment growth slows sharply.”

Fox Business: “The U.S. economy added 1.8 million jobs in July even as a wave of new coronavirus cases forced most states to pause or reverse their reopenings, causing a slight pullback in hiring. Still, the payroll increase reported Friday by the Labor Department was well below the 4.8 million jobs created in June, which was the highest recorded.”

The unemployment rate is still higher than the peak of the Great Recession, and would be even higher if not for misclassification issues in the data. 

Politico: “The unemployment rate fell to 10.2 percent in July, the Labor Department reported Friday. That’s down from a peak of 14.7 percent in April, but still far above the 3.5 percent rate in February before the coronavirus pandemic led to mass economic shutdowns across the country.”

GDP fell by an unprecedented 31.7% annualized rate last quarter — more than three times the previous record.

CNBC: “Second-quarter GDP plunged by worst-ever 31.7% as economy went into lockdown.”

National Public Radio: “The economic shock in April, May and June was more than three times as sharp as the previous record — 10% in 1958 — and nearly four times the worst quarter during the Great Recession.”

More than 100,000 small businesses have closed for good, with Black-owned businesses shutting down at twice the rate.

Washington Post: “More than 100,000 small businesses have closed forever as the nation’s pandemic toll escalates”

Bloomberg: “Black-owned small businesses are twice as likely to shutter as small businesses overall during the coronavirus pandemic … Data show a 41% drop in the number of active small business owners who are Black from February to April, compared to 22% of owners overall, according to the study. Latinx business owners fell by 32%, while Asian business owners dropped 26% and white business owners retreated 17%.”

Trump cut unemployment benefits in half, and in addition to getting less money, out-of-work Americans may only get benefits for three weeks.

Washington Post: “Out-of-work Americans may see only a three-week boost to their unemployment benefits, as state and federal officials scramble to stretch out a limited pot of money and implement President Trump’s recent policy order.”

Washington Post: “For the majority of the 28 million unemployed workers who had been getting an extra $600 a week, relief remains elusive.”