Another 1.4 Million Americans Apply for Unemployment Benefits

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Another 1.4 Million Americans Apply for Unemployment Benefits

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.orgHome – Stephen Lendman)

For an unprecedented 22 straight weeks, over a million working-age Americans filed for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits.

Once again, the Bureau of Labor Statistics understated the true number — officially reporting 1.1 million.

The actual number was 1.4 million as explained by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI). See below.

Based on how US unemployment was calculated pre-1990, the true figure today is 31.2%, not the phony BLS reported 10.2%.

EPI explained that 892,000 Americans “applied for regular state unemployment insurance (not seasonally adjusted)” in the latest reporting period.

Another 543,000 “applied for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA),” adding:

The officially reported 1.1 million UI claims is “not the right number to use.” 

It ignores PUA filings, the federal program for unemployed Americans not eligible for UI — including the self-employed.

Official BLS data are also seasonally adjusted, a distortion given current economic collapse conditions, the worst in US history, greater than during the 1930s Great Depression.

Congress and the White House let weekly UI benefits of $600 expire.

EPI explained that Americans eligible for UI “are forced to get by on the meager benefits which are in place without the extra payment, which are typically around 40% of their pre-virus earnings,” adding: 

“It goes without saying that most folks can’t exist on 40% of prior earnings without experiencing a sharp drop in living standards and enormous pain.”

EPI slammed Trump’s “sham of an executive memorandum” to provide unemployed Americans with $300 weekly.

In reality, it’s only available in a few states for a few weeks if became official policy.

It mocks what’s needed at a time of economic collapse and growing deprivation affecting tens of millions of Americans.

The $600 in weekly UI benefits supports “5.1 million jobs” to be lost without them.

A study by Yale economists published in late July found that “enhanced jobless benefits (of $600 weekly) did not reduce employment (by) disincentiviz(ing) work.”

Expired $600 UI benefits with no agreement between Republicans and Dems on extending them hit Black, Latino, and women workers hardest.

Since March, around 60 million working-age Americans filed UI claims.

With little or no income for essentials to life, tens of millions of Americans are food insecure.

According to Feeding America (FA), “(e)very county in the US (is) struggl(ing) with this issue.”

Hunger in America affects “more than 54 million people,” including “one in four children.”

Senior hunger affects over five million Americans, FA saying:

“After a lifetime of hard work, many older adults find themselves facing an impossible choice — to pay for groceries or medical care” or rent.

According to Housing Rights Initiative executive director Aaron Carr, “(t)he US is facing an eviction crisis of biblical proportions,” adding:

“Allowing eviction moratoriums and expanded unemployment benefits to expire will undoubtedly lead to a perfect storm of instability, homelessness, and human suffering.”

Tens of thousands of US small, medium-sized, and some larger businesses ceased operating.

In late July, polling data by the US Chamber of Commerce found that “most small businesses are concerned about financial hardship.”

“Two-thirds of small businesses (65%) are concerned about having to close again or stay closed if there is a second wave of COVID-19.”

With nearly one-third of working-age Americans jobless and both  right wings of the one-party state deadlocked at a time when large-scale relief and jobs creation programs are vitally needed, hard times are likely to continue with no end of them in prospect any time soon.

VISIT MY WEBSITE: stephenlendman.org (Home – Stephen Lendman). Contact at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

My two Wall Street books are timely reading:

“How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion, and Class War”

HOW WALL STREET FLEECES AMERICA Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War

 

“Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity”

BANKER OCCUPATION: Waging Financial War on Humanity

Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.