DNC on Latest Unemployment Numbers

DNC Chair and former Labor Secretary Tom Perez released the following statement after 1.6 million Americans filed initial claims for unemployment last week:

“The economic devastation continues. 29 million Americans are receiving some form of unemployment aid – more than quadruple where we were a year ago. Donald Trump’s incompetence has wrecked our economy and cost people their lives and their jobs. And even after six months of havoc and hardship, we’re still heading in the wrong direction. Donald Trump can barely put one foot in front of the other, let alone tackle a global pandemic. America needs real leadership to meet this moment. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will take the bold action necessary to contain this pandemic, make testing widely available, and get our economy back on track.”

1.6 million Americans filed new unemployment claims last week. For 24 consecutive weeks, more people have filed for unemployment benefits than during the single worst week of the Great Recession.

New York Times’s Ben Casselman: “Another 1.6 million people filed for unemployment benefits last week (833k regular state claims, not seasonally adjusted, and 759k under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program).”

As many as 29 million Americans are receiving some form of unemployment relief – more than quadruple where we were a year ago.

NPR: “As of Aug 15, more than 29 million Americans were collecting some form of unemployment insurance. That figure was up more than 2 million from the previous week.”

Americans have filed nearly 60 million initial claims for unemployment since the pandemic began.

Fox Business: “The latest jobless claims figures from the Labor Department, which cover the week ending Aug. 29, show that 881,000 workers sought aid last week, pushing the total number since the shutdown began to more than 59 million.”

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.”

Tens of millions of Americans are going hungry

Wall Street Journal: “The number of Americans who say they can’t afford enough food for themselves or their children is growing, according to Census data, and it is likely to get larger now that some government benefits have expired. As of late last month, about 12.1% of adults lived in households that didn’t have enough to eat at some point in the previous week, up from 9.8% in early May, Census figures show. And almost 20% of Americans with kids at home couldn’t afford to give their children enough food, up from almost 17% in early June.”

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%.”