Thursday’s grim report comes as coronavirus infections continue to rise across the country, thus hindering the economic comeback President Donald Trump has touted.
For the first time in almost four months, the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits rose.
According to the Labor Department, 1.4 million people filed a jobless claim last week, up from 1.3 million the previous week. It’s the 18th week in a row that the number of unemployment applications surpassed 1 million.
An additional 975,000 people applied for benefits under a separate program available for self-employed and gig workers eligible for unemployment.
The grim report comes as coronavirus infections continue to rise across the country, thus hindering the economic comeback President Donald Trump has touted. The resurgence has forced some businesses to close a second time, and states to impose tighter restrictions. Experts say the economy can’t improve until the U.S. can control the spread of the coronavirus.
“The Lamestream Media is not talking about what is happening with the Stock Market and JOBS. Both are doing GREAT!” Trump wrote on Twitter last week. “The Radical Left will destroy the USA. Be careful what you wish for!”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is set to unveil the latest relief package on Thursday. At the center of the negotiations between Senate Republicans, House Democrats, and the White House is whether or not Congress will extend the weekly $600 expanded unemployment benefit that ends this week. Without it, many Americans will lose a critical economic lifeline amid a still-collapsing economy.
RELATED: This Woman’s Unemployment Will Go From $725 to $125 if Congress Doesn’t Extend Benefits. She’s Not Alone.
Henry Montalvo is one Phoenix worker who depends on that benefit. He was furloughed from his job as a banquet server and bartender in mid-March. According to Copper Courier, the expiration of the $600 federal aid will cut his unemployment benefits by two-thirds. He uses the money to help support his three children and pregnant girlfriend.
“Now that it’s about to end, that grim and uneasy feeling is coming back and really fast,” Montalvo said.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC Thursday that the GOP’s new relief plan will extend the enhanced benefit “based on approximately 70% wage replacement.” Ultimately, Democrats will have to sign off on whatever package Congress approves.