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U.S. Jobless Claims Rise Another 4.4M, 26M Americans Already Lost Jobs amid Coronavirus

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by Teuta Franjkovic · 3 min read
U.S. Jobless Claims Rise Another 4.4M, 26M Americans Already Lost Jobs amid Coronavirus
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The record surge of Americans applying for unemployment benefits is starting to recede, but another 4.4 million people filed new jobless claims last week to push the total above 26 million.

Initial jobless claims in the United States dropped by 810,000 to 4.43 million in the week ending April 18 compared to the previous week’s revised figure, the country’s Department of Labor announced on Thursday. The previous week’s level was revised down by 8,000 to 5,237,000. The four-week moving average stood at 9,598,250, jumping by 3,548,000 from the previous week’s revised average.

The seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending April 11 was 15,976,000, climbing by 4,064,000 from the previous week’s revised level to hit its all-time high. Meanwhile, the advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate landed at 11% for the same week, marking a growth of 2.8 percentage points from the week prior.

FED: Managing Coronavirus Is Not Done

Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve’s work on managing the coronavirus crisis is “not done,” according to New York Fed President John Williams.

In a speech in New York on Thursday, Williams pointed out that the full impact of the pandemic is still unclear. “The reality is that the full scale of the economic consequences is still unknown. To put the current situation in context, we are running more open market operations, for greater sums, than at any time in our history,” he stated.

Since the start of the crisis, which has cost at least 26 million Americans their jobs, the Fed has made two emergency rate cuts, along with an expansion of its asset purchase program and a $2.3 trillion lending program to help support the economy.

“The economy is under distress in ways we’ve not experienced in our lifetimes. At the New York Fed we are working tirelessly to address the economic and financial challenges posed by the pandemic,” Williams noted.

Trump Urges the Bill while the Number of Jobless Claims Is Growing

Also, United States President Donald Trump called on the lower house of Congress to approve the $484 billion coronavirus relief package aimed at supporting small businesses, as well as the country’s hospitals and expanding the coronavirus testing.

Trump urged the House to pass the legislation which will expand the Paycheck Protection Programme (PPP) by an additional $310 billion, shortly after the provided $350 billion were allocated.

The Senate passed a $484B coronavirus relief package, while the House is also expected to vote in favor of the bill on Thursday.

United States House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Wednesday that the lower chamber of Congress will pass the government’s fourth coronavirus relief bill, worth $484 billion, on Thursday, April 23.

Speaking to MSNBC, she revealed that $25 billion from the aid package will be allocated to coronavirus testing. “Without testing, we can’t evaluate our progress,” Pelosi underlined.

The House speaker also criticized President Donald Trump, who has been “attacking governors” and “misleading the public with false information.” Trump “is doing a terrible job of managing” the pandemic, Pelosi concluded.

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