Weekly initial jobless claims soar to 965,000

Ten months into the pandemic, the U.S. economy still has around 10 million jobs to recover.

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BREAKING: Last week's initial jobless claims soared to 965,000, Dept. of Labor data shows, as the economy struggles to contain the fallout from rising coronavirus infection rates across the country.

Ten months into the pandemic, the U.S. economy still has around 10 million jobs to recover.

Bryan Woolston / Reuters fileJan. 14, 2021, 1:31 PM UTCByLucy BaylyThe latest weekly initial jobless claims soared to 965,000 last week, according to data released Thursday by the Department of Labor, as the economy struggles to contain the fallout from rising coronavirus infection rates across the country.

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First-time jobless claims have remained below 1 million for five straight months, after hitting a record total of 7 million in late March. However, the weekly figure continues to be four times higher than the pre-pandemic average.Last week'smonthly employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics

showed a decline of 140,000 jobs for the month of December. It also showed a dramatic plunge in the leisure and hospitality sector, with restaurants and bar jobs down by almost half a million. However, as herd immunity is reached, there is some confidence that the service industry will improve, as customers return to dining and shopping. headtopics.com

With women making up the larger portion of the service sector, this demographic has been most affected by the pandemic-induced business closures. Additionally, the lack of child care and the requirements of remote schooling has added to the burden for women, driving them out of the workforce more broadly.

Ten months into the pandemic, the U.S. economy still has around 10 million jobs to recover, the unemployment rate remains at 6.7 percent and almost 19 million Americans are still claiming some form of unemployment benefit.While the revamped Paycheck Protection Program, which reopened last week, should help some businesses stay afloat, there is still a need for further fiscal support, said Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst at Bankrate.

“The prescription has been fairly consistently enunciated from the business community, as well as our central bankers, because they understand there’s only so much of a fulcrum they can lean on with monetary policy,” Hamrick said.One obvious entry point is investment in the nation's infrastructure.

"A large-scale infrastructure bill would broaden the economy," and improve the situation for those demographics who have shouldered the greatest burden during the coronavirus pandemic, Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock, told CNBC on Thursday morning."I can’t think of another more important thing." headtopics.com

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This isn’t some sort of mystery. Businesses need to stop having their hands tied by government and they need to reopen. My state just came off lockdown Monday. ThanksTrump for your ongoing failure as POTUS. Worst ever.