Another 3 million Americans file for unemployment benefits
36.5 million people were unemployed in two months
WASHINGTON – US unemployment claims slowed somewhat last week, but nearly 3 million people still applied for benefits, according to Labor Department data, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the world’s largest economy.
In two months, 36.5 million people were left without work – more than a fifth of the workforce, the total number of which is 164 million.
Last week, the government announced that the unemployment rate reached 14.7 percent, however, according to key Trump economic advisers, it could actually be higher and approach 25 percent in the coming weeks..
According to official data, GDP contracted by 4.8 percent in the first quarter, but this estimate is based on indicators for a period when the full scale of the impact of the pandemic was not yet evident..
Congress and President Trump have already pledged $ 3 trillion in anti-crisis assistance to residents and businesses. Democratic-controlled House of Representatives wants additional aid, but Republicans oppose, and President takes a wait and see attitude.
Trump told Fox Business that Democrats want the US economy to crash, hoping this will strengthen Joe Biden’s chances of being elected in the November election..
“The less successful the opening of the economy is, the better they may be in the elections,” the president said. “They’d rather have our country collapse (and you know what that means – death) than for me to be re-elected.”.
Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said on Wednesday that the US economy will face several years of recession unless additional aid is provided to workers. In 40 percent of families with an annual income of less than $ 40,000 a year, someone lost their job, he said..
“Additional fiscal support will be expensive, but worth it if it helps avoid long-term economic damage and gives us a more confident recovery,” Powell said during a teleconference with the Peterson Institute for International Economics..
Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin and other Trump advisers call the downturn significant, but predict an upturn in the second half of the year and next year. However, the Congressional Budget Office expects the unemployment rate at the end of next year could remain at 9.5 percent..
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