1.48 million more people filed for unemployment across the US

1.48 million more people filed for unemployment across the US
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Another 1.48 million more people filed for unemployment across the US as the coronavirus pandemic continues to hit the economy and infection rates increased.

Claims for unemployment insurance have declined for 12 weeks in a row, but are still historically high. Around 47 million people made the filing for benefits in the last 14 weeks, with 3m claims processed in the last two weeks.

The newest figures come as states across the country reopen their economies and loosen quarantine measures. Increases in infection rates, such as new record highs in states including California, Arizona, and Texas, may further slow economic recovery.

Nicholas Juhle, head of economic research at Greenleaf Trust, explained that a backlog of claims may be contributing to the still big number of weekly claims. Before the pandemic happened, the biggest weekly claim on record was 695,000 in October 1982.

“The big question now is how much of this do we get back,” said Juhle. “It could take a couple of months before we get a clearer insight.”

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Juhle noted that several jobs lost may be structural rather than cyclical losses triggered by quarantine measures. “The pandemic has accelerated some existing trends. The best examples are probably e-commerce versus bricks-and-mortar retailing and the shale industry,” he said.

Preference for online shopping signals that many of the millions of jobs lost in retailing are no longer present, and the low oil price may suggest the shale industry will struggle to recover for years. “There are probably hundreds of thousands of jobs that existed before this pandemic that aren’t coming back,” he said.

Consequences

A new report showed that 30% of Americans missed their housing loan payments as the country grapples with unemployment and economic damages brought by the coronavirus crisis.

Findings suggest that is an increase from 24% who missed their payment just two months earlier in April and about on par with the 31% who missed payments in May.

The survey by Apartment List, an online rental platform, discovered that the groups most likely to miss their loan payments are renters, younger, and lower-income households.

While a “historically high” rate of Americans have missed paying their housing payments, eviction protections to curb the spread of the coronavirus are starting to expire.

Moreover, the 30 million unemployed individuals may lose the extra $600 per week in unemployment benefits at the end of July.

Homelessness

Columbia University researchers believe that homelessness could rise by between 40% and 45% this year over where it was in January 2019.

Some legal experts foresee “at least” 50,000 eviction filings in New York City alone when it removes the moratorium by June 20, most for nonpayment of rent.

“In the current climate, with unemployment at record levels and with many unable to pay rent for Covid-related reasons, neither housing court judges nor our lawyers will be able to resolve many of these disputes, resulting in evictions, displacement, homelessness, senseless exposure to infection and more difficulty in containing Covid-19,” writes The Right to Counsel NYC Coalition in a letter to Lawrence K. Marks, Chief Administrative Judge at the New York State Unified Court System.

Advocates believe that governors should extend or keep universal eviction moratoriums for the duration of the coronavirus crisis to prevent a rise in homelessness.

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