Mass Unemployment Continues, as White House Adviser Passes on Productive Job Creation
July 9, 2020 (EIRNS)—Acting Chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers Tyler Goodspeed skirted around a question on large-scale government productive job creation from EIR at a webinar on the U.S. economy today, as a new weekly Labor Department report showed nearly 33 million Americans—and rising—on unemployment benefits. Goodspeed would only say,
“We’re focused on a rapid recovery in the labor market.... The more fiscal policy we can do, the faster we’ll get back,” meaning, to the improvements in the employment and wage situation which he described in detail from the past two years or so prior to the late March collapse. The moderator at this OECD webinar on the U.S. economy had truncated and garbled the EIR question and combined it with another, reducing it to “Shouldn’t the government be creating millions of productive jobs, as in hospital construction and other infrastructure?”
New unemployment claims for the week ended July 4 were reported by the Labor Department today as 1.314 million (“seasonally adjusted”) and 1.399 million unadjusted. This is a small decline from the 1.44 million unadjusted figure for the week before and continues a trend of slow improvement. That much is likely to be reported widely, but not the following data from the report.
The total unadjusted number of Americans receiving employment benefits as of the week ended June 27 was 32.922 million, and this was an increase of 1.41 million from the prior week ended June 20. Since that 1.41 million is just about equal to the new claims figure for the week ended June 27, few people were going off benefits, if any. So, of roughly 50 million who’ve applied for unemployment since the employment collapse hit at the end of March, two-thirds are still on it.
Moreover, this 32.99 million people receiving unemployment benefits in the week ending June 27 is exactly 20% of the labor force—this, while unemployment in June was officially reported as 11.4%. The total figure included 16.80 million receiving state benefits, and 14.36 million receiving Federal Pandemic Emergency unemployment benefits; plus a few smaller benefit programs (i.e., veterans, Federal civilian employees, etc.).