Claims climb past one million for second week in a row
One million people filed for unemployment benefits last week in the US as the coronavirus pandemic continued to take a historic toll on the job market. It was the second week in a row that claims passed the million mark after briefly dipping below that figure in early August.
New applications for unemployment have remained stubbornly high for months even as the number of coronavirus cases are declining. At about 1m claims a week they are five times as high as the average 200,000 weekly claims before the pandemic.
In the week ending 22 August just over 1m claims were filed, 98,000 fewer than the previous week.
While the US has gained jobs over the last three months, millions more still remain out of work and the ongoing economic impact of the pandemic is spreading. Initially the job losses fell most heavily on the service, leisure and hospitality industries as restaurants, bars and hotels closed down.
The impact of the recession is now spreading. This week American Airlines announced it would cut 19,000 jobs by 1 October and Delta said it furlough more than 1,900 pilots unless it can reach a cost cutting deal with unions. United Airlines announced earlier this summer that it could cut 36,000 positions later this year.
“Though we are seeing a meaningful decline in new Covid-19 cases, the trends in economic indicators have not changed significantly. There continue to be signs that the recovery is slowing at best and at worst is reversing somewhat,” BofA Global Research said in an investors note. “We likely need to see daily Covid-19 cases decline much more significantly in order for gains in economic activity to accelerate meaningfully.”
More than a hundred thousand Californians have bought a gun since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, a new report has found, in a surge of gun sales that has experts worried about the risk of suicide and deadly instances of domestic violence.
Donald Trump has once again attacked his top public health expert, using a call with campaign staff on Monday to deride Anthony Fauci as “a disaster” and to claim “people are tired of hearing Fauci and all these idiots” discuss ways to combat the coronavirus.
Harold "Heshy" Tischler, a high-profile Orthodox Jewish activist, was arrested Sunday night on charges related to inciting a riot and assaulting a journalist. "The New York City Police Department Warrant Squad has taken Harold 'Heshy' Tischler into custody. He will be charged with inciting to riot and unlawful imprisonment in connection with an assault of a journalist that took place on October 7, 2020 in Brooklyn," the NYPD said on Twitter. Jacob Kornbluh, a reporter for Jewish Insider, said that he was "brutally assaulted" on Wednesday after Tischler recognized him.
President Trump is taking a big risk by scuttling next week’s presidential debate against Democratic nominee Joe Biden, leaving the president with fewer opportunities to change the trajectory of a race that has moved swiftly against him. Trump is furious at the Commission on Presidential Debates for unilaterally deciding next week’s event would be virtual, rather than in-person, due to concerns about the coronavirus after the president’s diagnosis last week. Trump and his campaign believe that Biden would wilt under the pressure of a live, high-stakes event and believe the shift to a virtual event is bailing him out.