DNC on Latest Unemployment Numbers

DNC Chair and former Labor Secretary Tom Perez released the following statement after 1.7 million Americans filed initial claims for unemployment last week:

“1.6 million two weeks ago. 1.7 million last week. We keep heading in the wrong direction under Donald Trump. For 25 consecutive weeks now, more people have filed for unemployment benefits than during the single worst week of the Great Recession. It didn’t have to be this bad. In fact, yesterday’s news confirmed what was obvious from the beginning: Donald Trump knew how deadly this virus was, and he tried to hide it from the American people. He knew, but he didn’t care. Trump played it down, and the death toll went up and up and up. He said he didn’t want to fuel panic, so instead he fueled a pandemic. Trump’s lies have cost lives and livelihoods, and he must be held accountable. Lying isn’t leadership; it’s cowardice. We need a president who tells the truth about the threats we face; a president who cares more about people’s safety than his own job security. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won’t play games with people’s lives. They won’t play down threats, they will build up our defenses to them. And they will honor the presidential oath to protect the American people by taking action to end this pandemic once and for all and build our nation back better.”

1.7 million Americans filed new unemployment claims last week, increasing  from the prior week. For 25 consecutive weeks, more people have filed for benefits than during the single worst week of the Great Recession.

New York Times’s Ben Casselman: “Another 1.7 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week. (That’s 857k regular state claims, not seasonally adjusted, and 839k claims under the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program.)”

New York Times’s Ben Casselman: “Pandemic Unemployment Assistance claims, meanwhile, have risen for the past four weeks. Getting close to where they were in mid-July.”

Business Insider: “The latest figure still exceeds the 665,000 filed during the Great Recession’s worst week.”

More than 29 million Americans are receiving some form of unemployment relief – an increase from the week before and nearly 20 times where we were a year ago.

Washington Post: “The total number of people claiming unemployment insurance continues to go up as well: 29.6 million people were on some form of unemployment insurance as of August 22, according to labor data, nearly 20 times the 1.59 million who were on jobless benefits during the same period last year.”

More than 60 million unemployment claims have been filed since the pandemic began, far surpassing the total during the entire Great Recession.

Business Insider: “In under six months, the more than 60 million unemployment claims filed during the coronavirus pandemic have far surpassed the 37 million during the 18-month Great Recession.”

Job growth continues to slow, and slowed significantly in August after accounting for Census hiring.

New York Times’s Ben Casselman: “The headline number was boosted by temporary hiring for the 2020 census. Private-sector job growth slowed to 1 million from 1.5 million in July.”

Axios: “The labor market is rebounding, but the pace of hiring has dropped off. The slowdown could be a sign of what’s to come: a long, sluggish job market recovery… President Trump has praised job gains in recent months, even though they have consistently slowed from June’s surprise 4.8 million jump.”

BLS: “Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 1.4 million in August, following increases of larger magnitude in the prior 3 months.”

Wall Street Journal: “The number of available jobs in the U.S. leveled off late this summer, the latest sign momentum in the labor market is easing six months after the coronavirus pandemic took hold in the U.S. The increase in the number of job postings, a real-time measure of labor-market activity, has slowed dramatically since late July, and last week stood about 20% below 2019 levels, according to data the job-search site Indeed.com shared with The Wall Street Journal.”

Fewer than half of jobs lost during the pandemic have come back, with 11.5 million fewer jobs than in February.

BLS: “Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 1.4 million in August, following increases of larger  magnitude in the prior 3 months. In August, nonfarm employment was below its February level by 11.5 million, or 7.6 percent.”

Washington Post’s Heather Long: “Official unemployment rate = 8.4%  That’s the lowest unemployment rate since March but one of worst in modern history. **About 48% of the 22 million jobs lost during the pandemic have returned**”

Permanent job losses rose by 534,000 in August to 2.1 million since February.

BLS: “In August, the number of permanent job losers increased by 534,000 to 3.4 million; this measure has risen by 2.1 million since February.”

Hispanic and Asian unemployment remains over 10 percent, and the Black unemployment rate remains nearly twice that of white Americans.

Washington Post’s Heather Long: “This continues to be a highly uneven recovery.  Black, Hispanic and younger workers remain over 10% unemployed Men: 8% Women: 8.4% Teens: 16.1% White: 7.3% Hispanic: 10.5% Asian: 10.7% Black: 13%”

There continue to be mass layoffs costing tens of thousands of jobs.

CBS News: “President Donald Trump has hailed the economy in speeches and on social media, proclaiming in August that ‘jobs are flowing.’ But even as some employers are rehiring workers, others are shedding thousands of jobs, with major companies announcing 50,000 job cuts in the last two weeks alone.”

MSN: “The outplacement firm of Challenger, Gray & Christmas on Thursday reported that announced job losses last month represented the highest August total since 2002. For the year to date, more than 1.96 million job cuts have been announced, more than triple the 592,556 jobs lost in all of 2019.”

Small businesses remain in peril with millions of small firms expecting to have to close in the next six months.

Bloomberg: “About one in 20 small firms say they expect to permanently shut down in the next six months, according to the latest Small Business Pulse Survey by the Census Bureau.”