As Washington writhes on the brink of chaos, the U.S. economy continues to send signals that it needs help, with more than 1 million people filing new jobless claims last week.
About 869,000 people filed unemployment benefits in government programs last week, Labor Department said Wednesday, while another 398,000 applied for pandemic unemployment assistance, the temporary federal program that provides benefits for the self-employed and gig workers – and it is scheduled to expire in a few days if the $ 900 billion aid package $, Passed by Congress, will not be allowed. .
The figures show a modest decline on a week-over-week basis, but remain at unusually high levels. “The economy is still pretty soft,” said Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James Financial. told Bloomberg. “The level of unemployment demands suggests that there is still weakness in the labor market.”
Revenue and decrease in expenses: Total personal income fell by 1.1% in November, Bureau of Economic Analysis announced Wednesday, marking the second month in a row with a fall. Expenditure also fell as personal spending fell by $ 63.3 billion. Or 0.4%.
“The revenue and expenditure data were just the latest evidence that the recovery after rapid gains in the spring and summer has stalled and may go in the opposite direction,” wrote Ben Casselman from The New York Times. Brown from Raymond James said the data show “the impact of the pandemic on the season: There is less seasonal shopping than usual, there is less seasonal travel.”
Dione Swonk, chief economist at Grant Thornton, said the coronavirus is still calling the shots in the economy. “We’re losing momentum at a critical time,” she told Bloomberg. “Consumer spending is retreating or slowing down at a time when we should be increasing, and that’s because of the rise in Covid cases.”