SEVERE WX : Flood Warning View Alerts

Another 1 million Americans filed for unemployment insurance benefits last week

Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics, explains the Back-to-Normal Index; a new tool built by Moody's Analytics and CNN Business that shows how states' economies are recovering.

Posted: Aug 27, 2020 12:41 PM
Updated: Aug 27, 2020 12:41 PM

Another 1 million American workers filed for first-time unemployment benefits last week on a seasonally adjusted basis, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

The report met economists' expectations, and was a small decline from the prior week, but the report was still somewhat of a disappointment. So far, we've only seen one week — at the start of August — with fewer than a million claims since March, when the pandemic started to take its toll on America's job market.

Continued jobless claims, which count people filing at least two weeks in a row, stood at 14.5 million on a seasonally adjusted basis. The on-going decline in continued claims is a good sign that some people who lost their jobs in this crisis are returning to work.

Without the seasonal adjustments, which smooth out the data in normal times but are a distortion during the pandemic, the picture looks slightly different but not necessarily better: initial unadjusted claims stood at 821,591 last week. But, on top of that, 607,806 Americans -- more than in the prior week -- filed claims for pandemic unemployment assistance, one of the programs Congress devised to help workers who don't have access to the regular government programs, such as the self-employed. That brings the total of unadjusted first-time claims to 1.4 million.

All in all, 27 million American workers filed for some form of jobless assistance under various government programs during the week ending August 8, representing a decrease of around 1 million claims -- but still highlighting that this jobs crisis remains in full force.

Congress' weekly supplemental $600 in jobless aid expired at the end of July, and lawmakers haven't been able to agree another round since. Meanwhile President Donald Trump signed an executive order, diverting funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to pay for additional weekly benefits worth $300. States can add another $100 for a total $400 supplement, but many have said they can't afford that.

The Trump administration and some Republican lawmakers have claimed that the $600-a-week benefits have paid many Americans more than they would have made on their jobs. The supplemental benefit has kept people from rejoining the labor force, they argued.

"So far there is no indication yet that the expiration of an extra $600 per week in UI benefits at the end of July 31 has led to a big drop in unemployment," said PNC's chief economist Gus Faucher in emailed comments.

Deep economic dive

In addition to the Labor Department report, the Bureau of Economic Analysis also published its second estimate of second-quarter US gross domestic product -- the broadest measure of the economy.

GDP registered its worst collapse on record between April and June as the effect from the pandemic lockdown was in full force. The revised drop is an annualized 31.7% economic contraction, compared with the initial estimate 32.9%. Even with this tiny improvement, the second quarter was still the worst one on record for America's economy.

The GDP update included corporate profits, which decreased by $227 billion in the quarter. That was a significant decline, but it was less than in the first three months of the year. The pandemic lockdown straddled the first and second quarters, beginning in March with restrictions starting to loosen in April.

In the current, third quarter, GDP growth is expected to roar back. The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta predicts the economy to grow at an annual rate of 25.6% between July and September. That's good news, no doubt. But against the backdrop of millions of people still relying on government aid to make ends meet, it leaves a bitter aftertaste.

Lafayette
Partly Cloudy
35° wxIcon
Hi: 41° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 29°
Kokomo
Clear
27° wxIcon
Hi: 38° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 17°
Rensselaer
Partly Cloudy
27° wxIcon
Hi: 37° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 27°
Lafayette
Partly Cloudy
35° wxIcon
Hi: 38° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 29°
Danville
Partly Cloudy
31° wxIcon
Hi: 39° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 23°
Frankfort
Partly Cloudy
28° wxIcon
Hi: 40° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 20°
Frankfort
Partly Cloudy
28° wxIcon
Hi: 39° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 20°
Monticello
Partly Cloudy
27° wxIcon
Hi: 39° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 21°
Monticello
Partly Cloudy
27° wxIcon
Hi: 39° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 21°
Logansport
Clear
27° wxIcon
Hi: 36° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 27°
March comes in like a lamb...
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 661673

Reported Deaths: 12573
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion906391639
Lake48389876
Allen35806635
Hamilton32056396
St. Joseph29947512
Elkhart25376414
Vanderburgh21245378
Tippecanoe20000201
Johnson16336359
Porter15957270
Hendricks15813300
Clark11946181
Madison11741316
Vigo11595229
Monroe10328161
Delaware9836179
LaPorte9761196
Howard9055197
Kosciusko8561109
Bartholomew7448147
Warrick7412150
Hancock7404131
Floyd7200169
Wayne6631191
Grant6424157
Morgan6084125
Boone608288
Dubois5903111
Dearborn547067
Cass544399
Marshall5423104
Henry542093
Noble509078
Jackson464566
Shelby460290
Lawrence4180112
Gibson401281
Harrison399663
Clinton395453
Montgomery386783
DeKalb385178
Knox357285
Miami357263
Whitley349136
Huntington343976
Steuben338155
Wabash331176
Putnam329759
Ripley327061
Adams323149
Jasper315943
White297352
Jefferson294873
Daviess285396
Fayette271556
Decatur270888
Greene261280
Posey260831
Wells258274
Scott250350
Clay241044
LaGrange240870
Randolph225576
Spencer217130
Jennings215044
Washington211027
Sullivan203239
Fountain201442
Starke188051
Owen182153
Fulton178237
Jay177728
Carroll176518
Perry173235
Orange171250
Rush164722
Vermillion160442
Franklin159435
Tipton146341
Parke139216
Pike127632
Blackford120627
Pulaski106444
Newton96531
Brown94939
Benton91913
Crawford90613
Martin80114
Warren75814
Switzerland7537
Union67110
Ohio53311
Unassigned0431

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events