1.5 Million Americans Filed For Unemployment Benefits Last Week
In the US, another 1.5 million people applied for unemployment benefits
The number of claims for benefits has been declining for 12 consecutive weeks
In the US last week, another 1.5 million people applied for unemployment benefits, the Labor Department said Thursday. This is the lowest rate in the last three months.
The number of applications for benefits has been falling for 12 consecutive weeks, but the authorities predict that the economy will recover for a long time and will not return to its previous state by early 2021.
In total, 44 million people have applied for benefits since mid-March – more than a quarter of the workforce, whose total number is 164.6 million. However, the number of people receiving benefits has now dropped to 20.9 million as many have returned to work as companies reopen..
According to official data, the unemployment rate in May was 13.3 percent, although, taking into account the statistical error, it could be as high as 16.4 percent.
According to the Fed’s forecasts, by the end of this year the unemployment rate will drop to 9.3 percent, and by the end of 2021 – to 6.5 percent. Some economists are more pessimistic.
Fed chief Jerome Powell admitted on Wednesday that unemployment is putting millions of Americans in dire straits.
“Unemployment remains at a historically high level,” he said at a press conference. – The economic downturn has not affected all Americans equally. Rising unemployment is hitting especially low-paid workers, women, African Americans and Latinos. “.
At the end of the two-day meeting, the Fed said: “The ongoing health crisis will weigh heavily on economic activity, labor market and inflation in the short term and pose significant risks to economic forecasts for the medium term.”.
Congress and White House are considering whether to provide additional help to American families to accelerate economic recovery.
Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin, speaking in Congress on Wednesday, said: “I believe we will need another bipartisan bill to inject more money into the economy.”.
President Donald Trump, who faces re-election in November, predicts strong economic recovery.
“The Nasdaq has reached an all-time high. There is tremendous progress, well ahead of schedule. USA!” – he wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.
However, the coronavirus has hit US trading activity hard: more than a dozen companies filed for bankruptcy in May, and some reported permanent closures..
According to the government, in the first quarter, the country’s GDP contracted by 4.8 percent, but this figure does not take into account all the consequences of the pandemic, which became obvious already in the second quarter..