Published: Thu, March 26, 2020
Markets | By Otis Pena

Why the horrific jobless claims report is actually worse

Why the horrific jobless claims report is actually worse

The job losses haven't been reflected in data released so far by the federal government, but the weekly report by the Labor Department on employment claims Thursday morning is expected to show an unprecedented surge in people seeking benefits.

Businesses like hotels and restaurants have been among the hardest hit.

You can read the full report from the Department of Labor here. "People are being asked to close their business, to stay home from work, and to not engage in certain economic activity, and so they are pulling back".

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In the Labor Department's report, claims filed in California and NY therefore "seem low given anecdotal evidence, which may indeed reflect issues with websites crashing and phone lines jammed and a general reluctance of people to stand in line with lots of other claimants in the current environment", Knightley said.

"There has been a sharp explosion here in terms of furloughs and layoffs just in the past week, and at a much faster speed than during the Great Recession", said Michael Bernick, former chief of California's Employment Development Department and now a lawyer at San Francisco-based firm Duane Morris. In the week ended March 28, 2009, about 665,000 new claims were filed. "The coronavirus outbreak is economically akin to a major hurricane occurring in every state around the country for weeks on end". The figure was more than four times greater than the previous record high of 695,000 from 1982. "No shows, no money", he says. "The sooner we get through this period and get the virus under control, the sooner the recovery can come".

The Senate approved a $2 trillion fiscal stimulus package Wednesday night in a bid to shore up the economy as the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread. It includes more generous benefits and extend eligibility for benefits by 13 weeks.

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