Fight Back! News

News and Views from the People's Struggle

economy

By Masao Suzuki

San José, CA – On Friday, December 4, the U.S. Department of Labor released its report on the jobs market in November. Their monthly survey of businesses reported a gain of only 245,000 new jobs, about half of what economists expected and less than half of October’s job gain of 600,000 jobs. For the first time since the beginning of the recession, job losses have spread from the government, which lost almost 100,000 jobs, to retail, which lost almost 35,000 jobs. Job growth in other areas slowed from October, with the exception of transportation and warehousing, showing the continuing growth of online shopping. November’s gain barely put a small dent in the almost 10 million jobs still missing from the plunge in March and April.

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By Masao Suzuki

San José, CA – On Friday, December 4, the U.S. Department of Labor released its report on the jobs market in November. Their monthly survey of businesses reported a gain of only 245,000 new jobs, about half of what economists expected and less than half of October’s job gain of 600,000 jobs. For the first time since the beginning of the recession, job losses have spread from the government, which lost almost 100,000 jobs, to retail, which lost almost 35,000 jobs. Job growth in other areas slowed from October, with the exception of transportation and warehousing, showing the continuing growth of online shopping. November’s gain barely put a small dent in the almost 10 million jobs still missing from the plunge in March and April.

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By Masao Suzuki

San José, CA – Within a week of the election, the pandemic in the United States has turned the corner, just as President Trump said. But instead of fading away, there has been a surge in new infections. For five straight days there has been more than 100,000 cases a day, the latest being more than 145,000 – another record high. Trump has been uncharacteristically quiet on the pandemic, instead focusing on spreading lies and filing lawsuits to try to throw out people’s votes in a losing attempt to overturn President-elect Biden’s election victory.

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By Masao Suzuki

Unemployment insurance benefit numbers paint a bleaker picture of labor market

San José, CA – The August jobs report released by the Department of Labor on Friday, September 4 showed that job growth continues to slow. The number of new jobs has gone from 4.8 million in June to 1.8 million in July to only 1.4 million in August. The August figure was even weaker because over 200,000 of these new jobs were temporary 2020 Census jobs. So far, the economy has gained back only half the jobs lost in March and April.

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By Masao Suzuki

Unemployment insurance rolls grow

San José, CA – 25 million Americans or more are losing their additional $600 a week in unemployment insurance benefits even as the number of people applying for unemployment benefits continues to rise. Up to one-third of all renters have already lost eviction protection from the federal government, and the Republican proposal does not include extending it. Millions of other households are under threat of losing their electrical power for not paying their bills.

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By Masao Suzuki

Countdown to end of extra unemployment insurance continues

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San José, CA – For the second week in a row, new applications for state unemployment insurance or UI did not drop by much, despite economists’ expectations. New claims for the week ending June 20 were 1.48 million, down only 28,000 from last week’s initial estimate. New applications for the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, or PUA, fell by 42,000 to 728,000 last week. Together the PUA and state unemployment insurance applications topped 2.2 million, only slightly lower than the 2.27 million total for the week before.

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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

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

Early reports on April even worse

San José, CA – On Wednesday, April 15 the U.S. Commerce Department reported that retail sales of household goods fell 8.7% in March, the largest drop since the report began in 1992. This was twice as bad as the worst month during the last financial crisis and will probably be worse in the report on April sales as many stores did not shut until late in March.

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By Masao Suzuki

Socialist China restarting its economy

San José, CA – From the corporate magic of Disneyland in California to the bright lights of Broadway in New York City, to the famous tourist sites of Paris, France and Rome, Italy, lights are literally going out as more and more businesses shut down, as of today, March 15. Meanwhile, in socialist China, where the COVID-19 pandemic initially hit first and hardest, the economy is starting to recover as enterprises start to reopen and more and more people go back to work. One is struck by the irony of Apple, one of the capitalist world’s most valuable corporations, shutting all of its retail stores around the world even as it reopens its stores in China.

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