Capitalismo y Economía http://www.fightbacknews.org/es/department/antiwar es Unemployment insurance claims make biggest jump since March http://www.fightbacknews.org/es/node/8745 <p>San José, CA - The U.S. economy showed more signs of weakness as the COVID-19 pandemic rages and Trump’s “Operation Warp Speed” vaccine rollout crashes and burns amid finger-pointing, lies and incompetence. New claims for regular state unemployment rose by more than 20% in the week ending January 9, the biggest gain since the dark days of March when the economy hit a brick wall.</p> <p>The number of people actually collecting benefits also rose by 200,000 for the week ending January 2, despite more and more people being timed out of the regular state unemployment insurance programs which only pay out for six months. This was the first increase since November.</p> <p>The number of new claims for the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, or PUA, for self-employed and gig workers jumped by 75%, also for the week ending January 9. However much of this increase was because the PUA, along with the federal Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, or PEUC, for workers who have been timed out of regular state unemployment benefits, was allowed to lapse at the end of the year because of opposition to aid in the Republican Senate. Jobless workers who would have applied during the previous week had to wait until the programs restarted.</p> <p>The increase in unemployment insurance claims was broad based, with 36 states reporting increases. This weakness in the economy follows earlier reports that 140,000 net jobs were lost in December, and that online job postings fell towards the end of December. The report on retail sales for December fell again, for the third monthly drop in a row. In addition, the data on retail sales for November was revised down to a larger fall.</p> <p>While unemployment insurance claims have fallen, the rate of absenteeism because of illness or family illness or lack of childcare has not. About 1.9 million workers were reported absent in December, almost the same as the 2.0 million in April during the first surge in the pandemic.</p> <p>No wonder as the COVID-19 pandemic continues at record levels, with hundreds of thousands of new infections each day and daily deaths spiking to over 4000. The much hoped for rapid rollout of the vaccine has been a mess, with the latest news that the Trump administration held up plans for vaccine distribution for two months in September and October, paving the way for the chaos seen today. The lies continue from the Trump administration up to the very end, as the so-called “second dose vaccine reserves” that were to be distributed turned out to be non-existent - they had already been given out.</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/es/node/8745#comments Capitalismo y Economía Capitalism economy Unemployment Sun, 17 Jan 2021 01:51:20 +0000 Fight Back 8745 at http://www.fightbacknews.org Dismal employment report to start the new year http://www.fightbacknews.org/es/node/8730 <p>San José, CA - on Friday, January 8 the U.S. Department of Labor released its monthly report on the state of the job market. While mainstream economists expected economic growth to continue to slow with only 50,000 new jobs, down from a gain of 330,000 jobs in November, the reality was much worse. In December, 140,000 jobs were lost, the first month of losses since the dark days of April. The year ended with 9.8 million fewer jobs than before the recession began, a record high going back to 1939, and almost twice as bad as the previous recession year of 2009. President Trump became the first president since Republican Herbert Hoover set to leave office with a net job loss. </p> <p>Hardest hit in December were restaurants and bars, which shed over 370,000 jobs as fear of the rising COVID-19 pandemic, government restrictions and colder weather slammed the sector. State and local government budget cuts also put another 51,000 workers out of their jobs. Local and state governments combined have laid off almost 1.4 million workers this past year, hit hard by the recession and the lack of federal government aid.</p> <p>While the official unemployment rate stayed the same as in November at 6.7%, this number doesn’t count the millions of workers, mainly women, who have been forced to give up on looking for work and thus are not counted as unemployed. The percentage of jobless workers who are long-term unemployed continued to rise, to almost 40% of the total.</p> <p>The job situation is likely to worsen in the January report. The survey for the report will be carried out next week, January 11 to 16. Just this past week two new records were made in the United States. On Wednesday, January 6 more than 4000 people died of the COVID-19, and then today there were more than 300,000 new cases in just one day. With the pandemic even worse than when the December survey was taken in mid-December, the job situation is also likely to get work.</p> <p>But while this latest surge in the wake of the holidays was expected to peak by the end of the month, two recent developments threaten make this bad situation even worse. The vaccine rollout has transformed the Trump administration’s “operation warp-speed” into a vaccination snail’s pace. This is not simply a case of the Trump administration’s incompetence - which it is - but a problem with the decentralized, profit-guided U.S. health care system that has gutted public health starting with the Reagan administration in the 1980s. One deep-blue, well-to-do California County estimated that it would finish the first phase of vaccinating health care workers and institutionalized seniors by the end of February. Given that this is about 7% of the population, it would take 20 months, or until August 2022, to protect 70% of the population that could be enough to crush the virus.</p> <p>Another problem is the potential spread of a new variant of the virus. Despite more stringent restrictions in Britain than in much of the United States, cases are rising even faster there as the new variant is estimated to be 60-70% more infectious. After a first round of “don’t worry, mutations happen all the time,” it is now coming out that the U.S. is behind most other countries in being able to even test for the new variant, which is spreading in the country from coast to coast.</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/es/node/8730#comments Capitalismo y Economía Covid19 Economic Report economy pandemic Unemployment Sat, 09 Jan 2021 23:34:26 +0000 Fight Back 8730 at http://www.fightbacknews.org 14 million Americans’ stimulus checks are delayed through TurboTax and H&R Block http://www.fightbacknews.org/es/node/8724 <p>Tallahassee, FL - If you are like me, you have probably checked your bank account dozens of times throughout the day waiting for the recent round of $600 stimulus checks. </p> <p>If you are like me, then you have searched online through Google for “stimulus check,” “delay” or anything else that can explain the holdup of much needed financial relief. </p> <p>This second round of stimulus checks is a complete insult to the millions of workers who pay way too much in taxes and yet are constantly disregarded and disrespected by the ruling class.</p> <p>Just last week, in a stunning position, Donald Trump urged Congress to give Americans $2000 in stimulus relief per eligible American. Yet, Mitch Connell and even 41 Democrats voted against the enlargement of stimulus checks.</p> <p>Over 300,000 Americans have died from coronavirus and it has affected the entire country - oppressed nationality workers, and disabled people are bearing the brunt of this epidemic.</p> <p>Despite this fact, that we are currently in one of the most desperate economic situations in our recent lifetimes, us workers are not getting any sort of support. Politicians instead give millions of dollars in tax breaks and stimulus packages to big businesses and support the continuous exploitation of workers without a national mandate for hazard pay.</p> <p>If you are like me, then you are pissed.</p> <p>As I checked my bank account for the 20th time, and tried everything possible to log on to the IRS “Get My Payment” tool I consulted the brain hive that is called the internet.</p> <p>My Facebook feed is full of people waiting for their $600 stimulus checks.</p> <p>There is one answer to the delay regarding our checks.</p> <p>Third-party tax preparers.</p> <p>According to NBC News, those of us who filed taxes last year with H&amp;R Block and TurboTax will have a significant delay to the delivery of our stimulus check. With an estimate of four weeks. We will have to wait for a check or a debit card to receive our stimulus checks along with the our tax refunds.</p> <p>Apparently, if a person who filed last year’s taxes chose the option to pay H&amp;R Block and TurboTax through their refund, then the aforementioned companies will create a temporary account to receive their cut of the tax refunds.</p> <p>This isn’t even the first time that this happened. If you look online you will see this occurred back in April 2020. </p> <p>It was a known glitch that occurred over seven months ago. According to the same NBC same article I referenced earlier, a TurboTax rep said, “the [IRS] is the sole party with the ability to determine eligibility and distribute stimulus payments.” H&amp;R Block is allegedly rerouting payments to its customers directly and made a comment that the glitch will be fixed today. </p> <p>Millions of Americans are unemployed due to coronavirus, and the economic situation does not seem to get any better. The IRS is passing blame to tax preparers such as TurboTax and H&amp;R Block, and these multimillion-dollar tax preparer companies pass the blame to the IRS.</p> <p>Meanwhile millions of Americans are suffering. The economic situation is so dire that delaying payments by four weeks is the difference between life and death to some Americans who are struggling to pay for rent, utilities, food and rising health costs.</p> <p>It does not have to be this way. We, the workers of this country, have created all that is produced through our labor and it is our right to decide how this country is run. Yet multi-millionaire politicians and the monopoly capitalists give us crumbs while they take from us with shovels.</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/es/node/8724#comments Las Luchas del Pueblo Capitalismo y Economía Capitalism economy H&R Block Op-Ed Stimmy Stimulus Check Trump TurboTax Wed, 06 Jan 2021 16:08:34 +0000 Fight Back 8724 at http://www.fightbacknews.org Republicans block pandemic aid including $2000 checks, 14 million lose unemployment benefits http://www.fightbacknews.org/es/node/8708 <p>San José, CA - Republicans in the House and Senate have blocked an effort by Democrats to increase the amount of individual payments in the new pandemic aid act from $600 to $2000. Many progressive Democrats including Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had tried to increase the amount during the negotiations over the new aid package. These payments have been very popular, and at the last minute, President Trump chimed in, saying that he would refuse to sign the bill unless the larger amount was included.</p> <p>While Democrats will try for a new vote on Monday, December 28, this delay means that 14 million people will lose their unemployment benefits starting December 26. The federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance or PUA, for self-employed and gig workers, and the federal Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation or PEUC, for the long-term unemployed whose state benefits have run out, both expire during the last week of this month.</p> <p>Extending the unemployment benefits and providing larger individual payments are critical at this time as more and more working people are being hit by the recession. While the most recent report on new unemployment claims did show a drop to just over 800,000 for the week ending December 19, this level still remains above the pre-recession record set all the way back during the brutal 1981-82 recession. But the total number of people collecting the regular state unemployment insurance, the federal PUA, the federal PEUC, the state extended benefits program for states with high unemployment rates, as well as other smaller programs, remained above 20 million.</p> <p>Other economic data released in the past week painted a gloomy picture for the month of November. Sales of new homes fell 11% from October to a five-month low. Most economists had predicted an increase in sales as the growing economic inequality boosted the ability of higher-income households to buy homes, even as millions of low-income households faced growing rent debt and the threat of eviction. The Centers for Disease Control eviction moratorium will expire on December 31, 2020 unless the extension in the new aid bill is signed into law. Despite the moratorium, landlords across the country are evicting tenants in the midst of the pandemic.</p> <p>Consumer spending in November also fell by 0.4%, the first drop since April. Personal income fell an even larger 1.1%, for the third time in four months as more and more people exhaust their state unemployment benefits, which last for only six months or less. The household savings rate also fell to the lowest level of the recession, meaning that consumers will be less able to spend going into the new year.</p> <p>The biggest drop in spending was on restaurant and hotels which declined by 3.8%. This reflects the growing pandemic that was causing consumers to pull back and local and state governments to reimpose restrictions. This had a big impact on the first reading on consumer confidence in December. The Conference Board reported a 4.6% fall in their monthly consumer confidence reading between November and December. All of this was because of the fall in their current conditions index, which plunged almost 15% in one month.</p> <p>It is no surprise that households think current economic conditions are poor. The Census Bureau estimates that almost one out of four households, or more than 80 million people, are having a hard time paying for basic needs. Along with housing insecurity, poverty and hunger are growing. The new aid bill has a small amount of food aid, $13 billion, to boost the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP that provides food stamps to poor individuals. This comes to a 15% increase in the SNAP budget, which is totally inadequate given the current needs.</p> <p>While the new aid bill has many needed unemployment benefits extensions for the PUA and the PEUC, extension of the eviction moratorium, as well as smaller amounts of money for schools, renter assistance, public transit, and childcare it also contains a lot of wasteful spending. The single largest amount of money, more than one-third of the total bill, will go to businesses. Almost all of this is for a second round of the Paycheck Protection Program loans, which were riddled with problems in the first round. While claiming to be for small businesses, much of it went to larger corporations and even elite restaurants with $1200-per-person menus, not mom and pop businesses. Despite the label ‘paycheck protection,’ much of the money went to landlords in the form of rent.</p> <p>Congress even added to the benefits for businesses by making the forgivable loans not taxable. In contrast, the federal government taxes unemployment benefits, another example to the double standard for business owners on one hand and workers, on the other. Congress went even further by saying that the expenses that the PPP money was spent on are deductible on taxes.</p> <p>Another problem with the new bill is that it does not extend the family and medical leave provision in the first CARES act that expires at the end of the year. This provision allowed workers who had to leave their jobs because of COVID illness in their families or childcare needs and be paid by the federal government.</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/es/node/8708#comments Las Luchas del Pueblo Capitalismo y Economía COVID-19 pandemic Sat, 26 Dec 2020 18:03:28 +0000 Fight Back 8708 at http://www.fightbacknews.org More signs of weaker economy point to a ‘double-dip’ recession http://www.fightbacknews.org/es/node/8695 <p>San José, CA - Last week the U.S. economy showed more signs of weakness as retail sales in November fell for the second month in a row and new claims for regular state unemployment insurance and the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance rose for the second week in a row. These are more signs of a weaker economy that point to a ‘double-dip’ recession.</p> <p>Retail sales, including online orders, fell 1.1% in November. The October figure was revised down from a 0.3% gain to a 0.1% loss. Sales over the Thanksgiving weekend, which included Cyber Monday, were down 14% as compared to a year earlier. The slide in sales is a result of both a sagging job market as well as the fact that much of the earlier boom was in durable goods, like appliances and electronics, which are one-time purchases.</p> <p>New claims for regular state unemployment insurance rose by 23,000 to 885,000 in the week ending December 12, when most mainstream economists expected a drop. This was the first back-to-back rise in unemployment insurance claims since July. The federal PUA also saw an increase in new claims, up 40,000 to 455,000. Continuing claims for both programs as well as the federal Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation or PEUC, and the state Extended Benefits or EB programs jumped by 1.6 million to rise back above 20 million in the week ending November 28.</p> <p>In the last few months since the end of the extra $600 in weekly unemployment benefits, the poverty rate has gone up by 24%. With almost 8 million more people below the official poverty line, the poverty rate has risen to 11.7% of the entire population. This is the biggest increase in the 60 year history of counting poverty in the United States. Hand in hand with rising poverty is more people needing food aid and millions more renters at risk of eviction next year.</p> <p>A major factor in the slowing economy has been the surging pandemic in the United States, which has been hitting new record daily highs in terms of number of new infections, hospitalizations and deaths. There was a new record high of more than 3600 deaths in one day, and more than 110,000 people in the hospital just this past week - and many doctors say the worst is yet to come. This has led to more and more businesses closing as shoppers and diners cut back out of caution or because of government restrictions.</p> <p>But still politicians are undermining public health efforts. In San Bernardino County in California, one local hospital is at 300% of capacity with half their lobby turned into a COVID ward, people in the hallways, a field hospital set up outside, and ambulances lined up with patients. Still the county supervisors voted to sue the governor for his stay-at-home order. The governor himself, Democrat Gavin Newsom, doesn’t help by breaking his own rules, dining with people outside his household at an elite French restaurant with a three-star Michelin rating and $1200 per person luncheons.</p> <p>The pandemic is also hitting another center of world capitalism, Europe, hard this winter. Many countries there have restored stay-at-home orders as infections and deaths surpass their spring surge when Europe was the hardest-hit area in the world. Even Japan, which has had a relatively low level of COVID infections, has seen rising rates of infections and deaths. Only China, which was the first country to see a large outbreak, has an economy that has recovered after suppressing the virus early this year. China saw a daily average of only 23 new infections in the last week for a total population of 1.4 billion.</p> <p>With many federal relief programs passed with the CARES act back in March about to expire at the end of the year, Congress seems close to a compromise bill with another $900 billion in aid. Still, much of this aid will be too little, too late as Republicans in the Senate dragged their feet on a new aid package since August, when the additional $600 per week in unemployment expired. While they say that they are worried about the cost, they had no problems with Trump’s tax cut almost twice as large that benefitted big corporations. Amazon, which has seen booming business during the pandemic, has paid only $162 million in taxes over the last three years, while make almost $25 billion in profits. This works out to a 0.6% tax rate. In contrast, the average U.S. household has a federal income tax rate of about 15%, 25 times higher than what Amazon pays.</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/es/node/8695#comments Las Luchas del Pueblo Capitalismo y Economía double dip recession economy Fri, 18 Dec 2020 21:07:38 +0000 Fight Back 8695 at http://www.fightbacknews.org New claims for unemployment insurance jump almost 20% in one week http://www.fightbacknews.org/es/node/8667 <p>San José, CA - On Thursday, December 10, the U.S. Department of Labor reported that new claims for regular state unemployment went up by 137,000, or 19.1% for the week ending December 5. This is the biggest increase in applications for unemployment since the first week of April. In addition, new claims for the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance or PUA also increased by almost 140,000. The total of almost 280,000 applications by jobless Americans in a week was the second largest jump during the entire recession, raising the danger of a ‘double-dip’ recession, where the economy goes downhill a second time.</p> <p>Behind this grim news was the relentless march of the COVID-19 pandemic, now almost out of control in 49 of 50 states. New records for infections are running over 200,000 a day and the total number hospitalized with COVID-19 are now more than 100,000. From coast to coast hospitals are running out of room and, worst of all, a new record number of deaths, more than 3000 in one day.</p> <p>Here in San José, a hospital in a smaller city less than 40 miles south has no more room for new COVID patients. Next door to where a 90+ year-old relative of mine is staying in assisted living, the nursing unit next door has a major outbreak, with more than 150 residents and staff infected.</p> <p>More and more states are being forced to close businesses in a desperate attempt to slow the pandemic to levels that our hospitals can withstand. Two states, Ohio and California, now have stay-at-home orders and more may follow. As people stay home and business restrictions grow, more and more jobs are being lost in this holiday season.</p> <p>The day after Christmas, more than 13 million people will be losing their benefits as the federal PUA and the federal Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation or PEUC, for long-term unemployed, end. The federal moratorium on evictions and the federal expansion of paid Family and Medical Leave will also be ending, putting millions of renters at risk of homelessness and workers forced to choose between putting food on the table or trying to protect their families from the pandemic.</p> <p>Hunger is stalking the country, with more than 50 million people skipping meals to make ends meet. People are trying to keep their lights on, their homes heated, and giving something to the landlord to keep them at bay and have nothing left over for foods. Shoplifting of necessities, from food staples to baby formula and diapers, has soared as more and more people steal on a regular basis.</p> <p>The new BioNTech-Fosun-Pfizer vaccine is about to begin distribution; there is only enough for 50 million people in the initial batch and more will not be available until the summer. Other vaccines are on the way, but it will be months before enough people have been vaccinated to slow the pandemic. Given all the glitches in fighting the pandemic, from testing foul-ups to shortages of personal protective equipment, the smooth distribution of the vaccine is not a given.</p> <p>While there is a stopgap aid bill in Congress, Republican diehards like Senate leader Mitch McConnell continue to try to cut down the amount of aid. With the growing possibility of partial shutdown of the federal government, it is no-business as usual in Washington D.C.</p> <p>President Trump has been working overtime to steal the election - to no avail, but half the Republican members of Congress have drunk the Kool-aid and are signing up for his effort. He continues to insist that we have “turned the corner” with the pandemic even as our hospitals and staff are on the brink of going over a cliff. To top it all off, Trump is holding party after party in the White House even though more and more members of his administration are getting infected.</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/es/node/8667#comments Las Luchas del Pueblo Capitalismo y Economía Unemployment Fri, 11 Dec 2020 15:54:10 +0000 Fight Back 8667 at http://www.fightbacknews.org Labor to the front in the battle against COVID-19 http://www.fightbacknews.org/es/node/8661 <p>As of December 1, 2020, the coronavirus pandemic is in an uncontrollable spread in 49 out of 50 states. Our country has over 10 million confirmed cases and over 270,000 deaths. With more than 100,000 new cases a day, hospitalizations and deaths will grow exponentially. Today over 1000 deaths are happening each day. The death rate, even with improved treatments since March, will likely grow significantly as hospitals and health care workers are already becoming overwhelmed. That is the best-case scenario in the large cities. Rural areas are entirely unprepared, lacking equipment and knowledge of the most up-to-date treatment protocols. Our country’s political and economic system has failed, and it has failed working people the most. While the wealthy and powerful ride stock market gains, secure in country homes and in the knowledge that they will be able to buy access to ICUs and limited and expensive experimental medications.</p> <p>The working class of the United States, particularly women and oppressed nationality (African American, Chicano and Latino, Asian Americans and indigenous) folks, are bearing the greatest suffering during this time. Alongside the unacceptable loss of life, tens of millions of workers are without work and millions of families are wondering how they will continue to feed themselves and keep a roof over their heads. We are living amid the deepest economic crisis in our lifetimes.</p> <p>The demands of working people are precise.</p> <p>Only the truly essential workers need to put their lives on the line now; all others need to be allowed to stay home and prevent the rampant spread of the coronavirus. </p> <p>All workers sent home must have their immediate needs met - including the cost of housing, health care, food and utilities - and guaranteed employment when they return to work. </p> <p>All workers who lost their jobs because the pandemic must have their needs fully met, including unemployment benefits, rent and mortgage freezes, debt relief and health care coverage. </p> <p>The COVID-19 vaccines are promising, but they will take a long time to get out to everybody. The priority for distribution must be for the most vulnerable and for frontline healthcare workers. When the COVID-19 vaccine is made available for mass consumption, it must be provided free of charge to every person in the country. Health care is a fundamental human right and vaccines, along with quality care, should be provided to all. Profit cannot factor into the salvation of this country. </p> <p>We have a new administration entering the White House. President-elect Biden promises to “listen to the scientists” when it comes to tackling the pandemic. Some of his advisors have floated the idea of a nationwide lockdown. This must happen, but it cannot take place without a guarantee of immediate relief to all workers forced to stay home. Resolving the pandemic cannot be separated from resolving the economic devastation it has brought down on working people.</p> <p>The Labor Commission of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization recognizes that workers are the protagonists in the fight against coronavirus, and they too must lead the fight to defend their livelihoods. We call on the labor movement to take up the demands of all working people in the coming period. All forces of the working class should fight for the Senate’s passage of the HEROES Act as a minimum demand, and go beyond that. We must do all that we can to seize the initiative from the ruling class that led us into this mess. Workers will save the world, and the world is what they deserve.</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/es/node/8661#comments Capitalismo y Economía Coronavirus Freedom Road Socialist Organization HEROES Act vaccines Wed, 09 Dec 2020 21:18:42 +0000 Fight Back 8661 at http://www.fightbacknews.org Job growth grinds to a halt as Trump plans holiday parties http://www.fightbacknews.org/es/node/8651 <p>San José, CA - On Friday, December 4, the U.S. Department of Labor released its report on the jobs market in November. Their monthly survey of businesses reported a gain of only 245,000 new jobs, about half of what economists expected and less than half of October’s job gain of 600,000 jobs. For the first time since the beginning of the recession, job losses have spread from the government, which lost almost 100,000 jobs, to retail, which lost almost 35,000 jobs. Job growth in other areas slowed from October, with the exception of transportation and warehousing, showing the continuing growth of online shopping. November’s gain barely put a small dent in the almost 10 million jobs still missing from the plunge in March and April.</p> <p>The official unemployment rate in the same report did fall from 6.9% in October to 6.7% in November. But this was entirely because of more people giving up or being unable to look for work. The same report showed that there were 326,000 fewer people out of work and looking for work than in October, but this number is less than 400,000 who left the labor force. Thus, the household survey showed 74,000 fewer people working in November than in October. </p> <p>The day before, on Thursday, December 2, the U.S. Department of Labor reported that new claims for regular state unemployment benefits coming in at 712,000. This is still greater than the record high set before the recession at 695,000 way back in October 1982, and more than three times as high as the pre-recession levels near 200,000. Adding in the weekly new claims for the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance or PUA for the self-employed and gig workers, about 1 million people sought government aid in the recession in the latest week. </p> <p>The total number of people receiving government unemployment benefits across all programs for the week ending November 14 was nearly 20.2 million. For the last seven months, there has never been fewer than 20 million people getting aid, which is more than 12% of the those who are working, or are not working and are looking for work. While new claims have been flattening out at a high level, there was a continued rise in the number of people claiming long-term benefits after their first six months of regular state unemployment benefits run out. The number of people receiving the federal Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation or PEUC and the State Extended Benefits programs rose by almost 140,000 in the latest week reported ending November 14. </p> <p>More bad news on the economy came earlier in the week, with the report on October income and spending. Personal income sank 0.7% as compared to September. This was mainly due to less government unemployment aid, showing that many people who lost their jobs in April are losing their benefits, as opposed to getting jobs. Personal spending rose, but at less the half the rate of growth as September. </p> <p>The trade deficit grew again in October after a small drop in September. The October trade deficit was $63.123 billion, more than 70% larger than the trade deficit in February of 2020, when the recession began. In a typical recession the U.S. trade deficit shrinks. For example, from 2008 to 2009 the trade deficit fell by almost 50% from $695 billion to $380 billion.</p> <p>Weighing on the economy is the surging pandemic, with more than 217,000 new infections a day, a new record high. On December 3, more than 2800 Americans died of COVID-19, another new all-time high, greater previous record of more than 2700 daily deaths set in April. A record of more than 100,000 people are now hospitalized with the coronavirus, straining hospitals across the country. While many field hospitals are being built, the problem is lack of staff, especially those who are trained.</p> <p>Across the country, state and local governments are imposing more restrictions on businesses in a last-ditch effort to slow the spread. But in Washington, D.C. the White House is planning more holiday parties. Trump’s efforts to deny the pandemic, his egging on dangerous practices, from not wearing a mask to holding large events, has contributed to the world’s greatest death toll for COVID-19, with almost 280,000 Americans dying from the coronavirus. At the same time the Republican leadership of the Senate continue to play hardball, holding up billions of dollars of aid desperately needed by the people. Almost two-thirds of all people collecting unemployment benefits, or more than 13 million people, face a financial cliff in a month. On December 26 the federal PUA and the federal PEUC will stop paying benefits.</p> <p>The Trump administration is now cooperating to a degree with President-elect Biden in a transition. But they seem to be going out of the way to hurt the economy before the Trump administration ends. Last week, Trump’s Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin ordered the Federal Reserve to return billions of dollars to the Treasury. This money guarantees against any losses from three Federal Reserve lending programs. The Fed’s lending to large corporations, medium size businesses, and state and local governments backed by the Economic Stabilization fund will now have to wind down just as the economy turns down again and pandemic relief programs are coming to an end. So, even though economy has only recovered about half the jobs lost early on, this move objectively limits the Fed's ability to lend.</p> <p>State and local governments also face hundreds of billions of dollars in budget deficits. They are estimated at $80 billion through June 2021, another $200 billion by June 2022, and another $300 billion by June 2023. State and local government spending is the only major type of spending that did not rebound after plunge in the first half of the year, and looks to be getting worse. These will lead to even more cuts and job losses, especially in public schools and colleges. Many states are considering cuts to Medicaid benefits for low-income households, putting even more people at risk of losing their health insurance after millions have already lost their jobs and employer-provided health insurance.</p> <p>In addition, the moratorium on evictions and the forbearance of home mortgages are also running out with the new year. According to a survey earlier in November, there are almost 30 million tenants behind on their rent, which could lead to millions of evictions in 2021. Millions of renters are taking a last ditch stand by paying their rent with credit cards, and millions more own back rent and are at risk of eviction in 2021.</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/es/node/8651#comments Capitalismo y Economía Capitalism Economic Report economy Job Loss pandemic Trump Sat, 05 Dec 2020 22:43:06 +0000 Fight Back 8651 at http://www.fightbacknews.org Job growth grinds to a halt as Trump plans holiday parties http://www.fightbacknews.org/es/node/8652 <p>San José, CA - On Friday, December 4, the U.S. Department of Labor released its report on the jobs market in November. Their monthly survey of businesses reported a gain of only 245,000 new jobs, about half of what economists expected and less than half of October’s job gain of 600,000 jobs. For the first time since the beginning of the recession, job losses have spread from the government, which lost almost 100,000 jobs, to retail, which lost almost 35,000 jobs. Job growth in other areas slowed from October, with the exception of transportation and warehousing, showing the continuing growth of online shopping. November’s gain barely put a small dent in the almost 10 million jobs still missing from the plunge in March and April.</p> <p>The official unemployment rate in the same report did fall from 6.9% in October to 6.7% in November. But this was entirely because of more people giving up or being unable to look for work. The same report showed that there were 326,000 fewer people out of work and looking for work than in October, but this number is less than 400,000 who left the labor force. Thus, the household survey showed 74,000 fewer people working in November than in October. </p> <p>The day before, on Thursday, December 2, the U.S. Department of Labor reported that new claims for regular state unemployment benefits coming in at 712,000. This is still greater than the record high set before the recession at 695,000 way back in October 1982, and more than three times as high as the pre-recession levels near 200,000. Adding in the weekly new claims for the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance or PUA for the self-employed and gig workers, about 1 million people sought government aid in the recession in the latest week. </p> <p>The total number of people receiving government unemployment benefits across all programs for the week ending November 14 was nearly 20.2 million. For the last seven months, there has never been fewer than 20 million people getting aid, which is more than 12% of the those who are working, or are not working and are looking for work. While new claims have been flattening out at a high level, there was a continued rise in the number of people claiming long-term benefits after their first six months of regular state unemployment benefits run out. The number of people receiving the federal Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation or PEUC and the State Extended Benefits programs rose by almost 140,000 in the latest week reported ending November 14. </p> <p>More bad news on the economy came earlier in the week, with the report on October income and spending. Personal income sank 0.7% as compared to September. This was mainly due to less government unemployment aid, showing that many people who lost their jobs in April are losing their benefits, as opposed to getting jobs. Personal spending rose, but at less the half the rate of growth as September. </p> <p>The trade deficit grew again in October after a small drop in September. The October trade deficit was $63.123 billion, more than 70% larger than the trade deficit in February of 2020, when the recession began. In a typical recession the U.S. trade deficit shrinks. For example, from 2008 to 2009 the trade deficit fell by almost 50% from $695 billion to $380 billion.</p> <p>Weighing on the economy is the surging pandemic, with more than 217,000 new infections a day, a new record high. On December 3, more than 2800 Americans died of COVID-19, another new all-time high, greater previous record of more than 2700 daily deaths set in April. A record of more than 100,000 people are now hospitalized with the coronavirus, straining hospitals across the country. While many field hospitals are being built, the problem is lack of staff, especially those who are trained.</p> <p>Across the country, state and local governments are imposing more restrictions on businesses in a last-ditch effort to slow the spread. But in Washington, D.C. the White House is planning more holiday parties. Trump’s efforts to deny the pandemic, his egging on dangerous practices, from not wearing a mask to holding large events, has contributed to the world’s greatest death toll for COVID-19, with almost 280,000 Americans dying from the coronavirus. At the same time the Republican leadership of the Senate continue to play hardball, holding up billions of dollars of aid desperately needed by the people. Almost two-thirds of all people collecting unemployment benefits, or more than 13 million people, face a financial cliff in a month. On December 26 the federal PUA and the federal PEUC will stop paying benefits.</p> <p>The Trump administration is now cooperating to a degree with President-elect Biden in a transition. But they seem to be going out of the way to hurt the economy before the Trump administration ends. Last week, Trump’s Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin ordered the Federal Reserve to return billions of dollars to the Treasury. This money guarantees against any losses from three Federal Reserve lending programs. The Fed’s lending to large corporations, medium size businesses, and state and local governments backed by the Economic Stabilization fund will now have to wind down just as the economy turns down again and pandemic relief programs are coming to an end. So, even though economy has only recovered about half the jobs lost early on, this move objectively limits the Fed's ability to lend.</p> <p>State and local governments also face hundreds of billions of dollars in budget deficits. They are estimated at $80 billion through June 2021, another $200 billion by June 2022, and another $300 billion by June 2023. State and local government spending is the only major type of spending that did not rebound after plunge in the first half of the year, and looks to be getting worse. These will lead to even more cuts and job losses, especially in public schools and colleges. Many states are considering cuts to Medicaid benefits for low-income households, putting even more people at risk of losing their health insurance after millions have already lost their jobs and employer-provided health insurance.</p> <p>In addition, the moratorium on evictions and the forbearance of home mortgages are also running out with the new year. According to a survey earlier in November, there are almost 30 million tenants behind on their rent, which could lead to millions of evictions in 2021. Millions of renters are taking a last ditch stand by paying their rent with credit cards, and millions more own back rent and are at risk of eviction in 2021.</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/es/node/8652#comments Capitalismo y Economía Capitalism Economic Report economy Job Loss pandemic Trump Sat, 05 Dec 2020 22:43:59 +0000 Fight Back 8652 at http://www.fightbacknews.org Millions face a financial cliff as grim economic news keeps on coming http://www.fightbacknews.org/es/node/8640 <p>San José, CA - On Wednesday, November 25, the U.S. Department of Labor reported that new claims for regular state unemployment benefits increased for the second week in a row, up 30,000 to 778,000. This is the highest level in five weeks and the first time since July with back-to-back increases. Adding in the weekly new claims for the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance or PUA for the self-employed and gig workers, almost 1.1 million people sought government aid in the recession.</p> <p>For the first time in almost two months, the total number of people receiving government unemployment benefits across all programs rose. For the last seven months, there has never been fewer than 20 million people getting aid, which is more than 12% of the those who are working, or who are not working and are looking for work.</p> <p>More bad news on the economy also came in the report on October income and spending. Personal income sank 0.7% as compared to September. This was mainly due to less government unemployment aid, showing that many people who lost their jobs in April are losing their benefits, as opposed to getting jobs. Personal spending rose, but at less than half the rate of growth as September.</p> <p>Weighing on the economy is the surging pandemic, with an average of more than 175,000 new infections a day for the last week. In the last day, more than 2300 Americans died of COVID-19, within striking distance of the all-time high set in April. A record 88,000 people are now hospitalized with the coronavirus, straining hospitals across the country. While many field hospitals are being built, the problem is lack of staff, especially those who are trained.</p> <p>Despite a warning from the Centers for Disease Control not to travel, 4 million people have already taken to the air for the holidays. Many doctors and public health workers are worried about a spike in the middle of the surge that could overload the health care system and lead to a rising death rate at the end of the year.</p> <p>On top of the growing health crisis, almost two-thirds of those collecting benefits, or more than 13 million people, face a financial cliff in a month. On December 26, the federal PUA and the federal Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, for people who have hit the six-month time limit for regular state benefits, will wind down. While the Democrats in the House of Representatives passed a bill to extend benefits back in May, the Republicans in the Senate have opposed this and still haven’t passed a bill to be able to negotiate with the House.</p> <p>In addition, the moratorium on evictions, the extension of student loan payments, and the forbearance of home mortgages are also running out with the new year. According to a survey earlier in November, there are almost 30 million tenants behind on their rent, which could lead to millions of evictions in 2021. State and local governments also face hundreds of billions of dollars in budget deficits that have to be closed over the next 18 months. These will lead to even more cuts and job losses, especially in public schools and colleges. </p> <p>The Trump administration is now cooperating with President-elect Biden in a transition. But the Trump team seems to be going out of its way to hurt the economy before the administration ends. Last week, Trump’s Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin ordered the Federal Reserve to return billions of dollars to the Treasury. This money guarantees against any losses from three Federal Reserve lending programs. The Fed’s lending to large corporations, medium size businesses, and state and local governments backed by the Economic Stabilization fund will now have to wind down just as the economy turns down again and pandemic relief programs are coming to an end.</p> http://www.fightbacknews.org/es/node/8640#comments Capitalismo y Economía Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) recession Fri, 27 Nov 2020 01:58:41 +0000 Fight Back 8640 at http://www.fightbacknews.org