The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released the most recent unemployment insurance (UI) claims data yesterday, showing that another 1.5 million people filed for regular UI benefits last week (not seasonally adjusted) and 0.7 million for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), the new program for workers who aren’t eligible for regular UI, such as gig workers.
As we look at the aggregate measures of economic harm, it is important to remember that this recession is deepening racial inequalities.
Black communities are suffering more from this pandemic— both physically and economically —as a result of, and in addition to, systemic racism and violence.
As of last week, more than one in five people in the workforce are either receiving or have recently applied for unemployment benefits—regular or PUA.
These benefits are a critical lifeline that help workers make ends meet while practicing the necessary social distancing to stop the spread of coronavirus.
In fact, the $600 increase in weekly UI benefits was perhaps the most effective measure in the CARES Act for insulating workers from economic harm and jumpstarting an eventual economic rebound, and it should be extended past July.
Figure A and Table 1 below show the total number of workers […]
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