Soaring jobless claims highlight need for new stimulus: economists


Last week, Congress passed a record $ 2 trillion package to tackle the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Now, many say it will not be enough with nearly 10 million Americans out of work in just two weeks.

Economists have called on lawmakers to adopt additional economic stimulus measures to fight the pandemic as new data showed a record spike in unemployment claims from Americans on Thursday.

“Given the incredible deterioration of the job market in a few weeks, federal policymakers will have to come back and provide more desperately needed relief and more support for recovery after the foreclosure is over,” said economist Heidi Shierholz principal at the Institute for Economic Policy.

The CARES law, which was enacted by President Donald Trump on Friday, includes $ 250 billion to extend unemployment insurance benefits. Labor Department data released on Thursday showed that 6.6 million Americans applied for unemployment insurance last week, doubling the previous week’s record.

“We have always maintained from the start that the CARES $ 2T law had nothing comparable; this data, and the numbers that follow, make another huge package inevitable, “said Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics.

The coronavirus pandemic ended record unemployment in the United States as businesses closed. Some economists expect the unemployment rate, which stood at 3.5% in February, to quadruple in the coming months, as sectors such as retail, travel and catering lay off workers. workers.

Gregory Daco, chief economist in the United States at Oxford Economics, said the unemployment rate could reach 12% as more than 20 million Americans lose their jobs due to the pandemic.

“He is in favor of the adoption of new stimulus measures given the likely high demand for unemployment benefits and the heavy tensions weighing on the state and local municipalities,” he said in an e- mail.

Some lawmakers have already called for another coronavirus back-up bill, although there is little agreement on the provisions it would include. The White House told CNBC on Wednesday that it does not currently plan another bill.


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