- The latest weekly total for initial jobless benefit claims ticked sharply up to 778,000 last week from 742,000 one week earlier, amid a further rise in coronavirus infections that is clearly dampening the labor market’s rebound. “We are currently stuck in a kind of pandemic purgatory,” said Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst at Bankrate. “In the meantime, it is unhelpful that elected officials in Washington have failed to pass new relief legislation.”
- “The unemployment insurance system was never intended to fill the enormous gaps in today’s labor market,” said Jeffrey Wenger, a senior policy researcher at the RAND Corporation. “Unemployment insurance is designed to deal with frictional unemployment — your skills are still useful, there’s still a market for your work. Structural unemployment is not like that.”
- “While there is hope that a vaccine could start to be distributed by end of year, it doesn’t change today’s bleak reality,” Konkel said. “And in any vaccine scenario, a full economic recovery won’t occur instantaneously. Long-term joblessness is looking more likely to be a persistent challenge to a full recovery.”
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