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Unemployment insurance claims up more than 50,000 in one week

Biggest jump since late July
By Masao Suzuki |
October 16, 2020
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San José, CA - On Thursday, October 15, the U.S. Department of Labor reported the biggest one week increase in new claims for unemployment insurance since late July. The latest report for the week ending October 10 saw 898,000 new claims for regular state unemployment insurance, up 53,000 from the week before.

The broadest measure of unemployment insurance - which includes those actually being paid under the regular state UI, the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, the state Extended Benefits and the federal Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) - fell by 215,000 for the week ending September 26. But the Extended Benefits and PEUC, both of which provide benefits for those whose regular unemployment insurance has run out after 13 weeks, was up by more than 820,000 the same week, showing the growing numbers of long-term unemployed.

The most recent jump in UI claims reflects the growing wave of layoffs being announced by major corporations. There is also a small but growing number of smaller businesses being done in by the long-feared third wave of the pandemic. There were more than 60,000 new cases of COVID-19 infections, the highest since August. Forty-four states (and the District of Columbia) reported higher rates of new infections.

The recession and the petering out of federal government aid, including the additional $600 a week in unemployment insurance benefits, has pushed 8 million more Americans into poverty, according to a report released by Columbia University. Almost a third of this group are children. African Americans, Chicanos and Latinos are being forced into poverty at twice the rate of white Americans as lower-paid workers are hit the hardest.