New jobless claims at 1.4million, marking first rise in weekly number in THREE MONTHS
MORE than 1.4 million American workers filed for state jobless benefits last week, marking the first uptick inthree months.
Another 975,000 applications were filed by freelancers, part-time workers, and others who aren't eligible for regular state jobless aid but qualify for benefits under an emergency program, the Labor Department said on Thursday.
The report comes a week before an extra $600 weekly unemployment benefit is set to expire.
The extra cash was part of the $2trillion coronavirus relief act signed into law by President Donald Trump in late March.
Jobless claims have stubbornly remained above 1 million for the 18th street week, which experts say reflects a change in the economic downturn wrought by the pandemic.
Ernie Tedeschi, a policy economist at investment bank advisory firm Evercore ISI, told the New York Times on Thursday last week's numbers could mean the businesses are shutting down again in places suffering from a spike in cases.
It could also mean that emergency business loans doled out via the Paycheck Protection Program are dwindling, he said.
“It might be that businesses are running through their first line of credit and now they’re facing the music of an economy that has recovered a little bit but nearly enough,” Tedeschi said.
The resurgence in infections, particularly within the south and west of the country, has made it difficult for Americans to re-enter the labor force now that state lockdowns have been lifted.
Others warn that jobless numbers could continue to rise.
"Now the risk is coming from temporary job losses that could become permanent," said Rubeela Farooqui, chief US economist at High Frequency Economics.
Meanwhile, Republicans are mulling over a new coronavirus stimulus package that would cut the padded unemployment benefits from $600 a week to $100.
The proposed $100 a week, or $400 a month, would continue the payments out-of-work Americans have received since March, albeit at a reduced amount.
The $600 per week stimulus payment is due to expire at the end of July.
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