Over 1 Million Unemployment Claims Filed Last Week with No Relief in Sight

Over one million unemployment claims were filed last week, according to new data from the Department of Labor (DOL), rising to a seasonally adjusted 1.106 million for the week ended Aug. 15, from an upwardly revised 971,000 in the prior week. The national economy has regained only 9.3 million of the 22 million jobs lost between February and April.

The Democrat-led House passed The Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act in May to supplement an earlier coronavirus relief package. However, the legislation was never taken up by the Senate, and benefits, including a highly valued $600 weekly unemployment bonus, were allowed to expire, endangering the financial prospects of millions of people.

President Donald Trump attempted to bypass Congress on coronavirus relief, signing an order that grants a payroll tax holiday, another that would provide $400 a week in extra unemployment benefits, and a memorandum that extends the CARES Act’s eviction moratorium. These orders are unenforceable, say constitutional law experts, and there’s been overall confusion on how to implement them.

At the end of last month, the Commerce Department reported that the United States experienced the worst economic contraction in modern American history as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Gross domestic product shrank at an annual rate of 32.9% in the second quarter of 2020. The president has continued to push for a full reopening of state economies as well as the reopening of schools nationwide despite warnings of further economic upheaval from health and policy experts. Over 175,000 Americans have died from the coronavirus, according to the most up-to-date statistics.

Alan Herrera

Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.

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