Fight Back! News

News and Views from the People's Struggle

Unemployment

By Masao Suzuki

Trump administration still opposed to extending aid for unemployed

San José, CA – The latest report by the Labor Department on Thursday, July 2 indicated new claims for aid for unemployed showed no improvement for the third week in a row. While new claims for the regular state unemployment insurance benefits did fall by 50,000 from last week’s report, to 1.43 million, new claims for the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance or PUA actually rose by 110,000 from last week’s report, to 840,000. Taken together, new claims for the two main programs to aid the unemployed totaled 2.27 million for the week ending June 27, slighting more than the previous week and the same as two weeks ago.

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By Tom Burke

Michigan stagehands to rally June 24 for unemployment extension

Grand Rapids, MI – Union stagehands and gig workers are rallying to extend unemployment at the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing on June 24 at 10 a.m.

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By Masao Suzuki

Unemployment insurance claims stop falling

San José, CA – In six weeks, tens of millions of unemployed people face the end of the additional $600 a week in unemployment insurance benefits. This additional benefit that helps low income workers the most is set to expire due to its being opposed by the Republican-controlled Senate. These same workers were hardest hit by the pandemic recession, and many face the prospect of their jobs not coming back. This is just another example of how the economic relief has helped large corporations, which can aided by the Federal Reserve, while low-income workers are subject to punishment by republicans who see the aid as discouraging people from returning to work.

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By Masao Suzuki

San José, CA – On Thursday, June 11, reality finally caught up with Wall Street. For weeks there was a huge gap between the economy, where millions upon millions of people had lost their jobs and livelihood, and the soaring stock market which had turned positive for the year. But today reality seems to have sunk in, sending the headline Dow Jones Industrial Average down more than 1800 points, or almost 7%. The broad S&P 500 index fell almost 6%, and the technology-heavy NASDAQ fell more than 5%. Stock market from Asia to Europe also fell.

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By Masao Suzuki

San José, CA – Corporate-owned media is blaring that the unemployment rate unexpectedly fell in May to 13.3%, from 14.7% in April. This was far better than even the most optimistic economist expected and even led to at least one to declare that “the recession is over.” Well, when something is too good to be true, it usually isn’t true.

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By Masao Suzuki

Initial wave of layoffs ebbs even as new job cuts grow

San José, CA – On Thursday, May 28, the U.S. Department of Labor reported that there were 2.1 million new claims for state unemployment insurance in the previous week ending May 23. This was down from 2.4 million new claims the week before, showing that the wave of layoffs from the pandemic and efforts to control it is going down. At the same time this is still more than ten times the pre-recession level and brings the total number of new applications to 40 million in the last ten weeks.

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By Masao Suzuki

Nevada, Michigan and Hawai’i see unemployment rates above 20% in April

San José, CA – On Friday, May 22, the monthly report on state-level labor markets saw the – unemployment rate for three states – Nevada, Michigan and Hawai’i – all soar to more than 20%, levels unseen since the worst of the Great Depression of the 1930s. Actual job losses, reported by business, came to almost 20% between March and April in Vermont and New York, along with Hawai’i.

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By Masao Suzuki

Over the last 8 weeks more than 40 million have lost their livelihood

Almost 3 million more applied for Unemployment Insurance last week

San José, CA – On Thursday, May 14, the Labor Department reported more bad news, saying that almost 3 million people applied for unemployment insurance in the previous week ending May 9. This means that over the last eight weeks more than 36 million people applied after losing jobs and income. Another 3.5 million are collecting the federal government’s Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, or PUA, which goes to the self-employed. This brings the total number of recently unemployed people to about 40 million.

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By Masao Suzuki

Employment report understates total job losses

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San José, CA – On Friday, May 8, the U.S. Department of Labor released their monthly Employment Report for the month of April. The report said that the official unemployment rate soared from 4.4% in March to 14.7% in April, a jump of more than 10% in just one month. This is the highest monthly unemployment rate on records going back to 1948, and the worst since the Great Depression of the 1930s when unemployment peaked at about 25%.

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By Conor Munro

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Miami, FL – More than 2 million Floridians have now applied for unemployment benefits. Only a fraction of the applications have even been processed and even fewer workers have received payments. Florida’s unemployment system was already terrible before the crisis and it has completely collapsed under pressure from COVID-19.

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