Washington Post: Congress Needs to Act Boldly to Help the Unemployed

Labor News

Reprinted from The Washington Post by Timothy O’Brien and Nir Kaissar on October 3, 2020.

“From May through August the US economy bounced back from Covid-19’s first strike, gaining millions of new jobs per month,” write Timothy O’Brien and Nir Kaissar in The Washington Post. “That growth slowed in September, with the the economy adding 661,000 jobs. The unemployment rate now stands at 7.9%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ last jobs report before Election Day.

“These figures aren’t as dire as April, when 20.8 million jobs were lost in one month and the unemployment rate spiked to 14.7%. But they’re seismic measurements nonetheless.

“About 25 million people living in the wealthiest country on the planet still rely on jobless benefits to get by. And the landscape for workers going forward looks bleak. Over the past few days, the Walt Disney Company said it would lay off 28,000 people, while American Airlines Group Inc. and United Airlines Holdings Inc. announced 32,000 job cuts.

“Consumer spending accounts for about two-thirds of gross domestic product in the US. But unless companies start hiring again, or jobless benefits are extended and drastically enhanced, many Americans will deplete their savings and stop spending. The economy will be hammered. And since the hardships of the downturn have already landed disproportionately on low-wage workers, particularly workers of color, a deeper crisis would further damage the lives and prospects of the most vulnerable Americans. …

Washington Post 10/3

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About Jeffrey Burman 857 Articles
Jeff Burman served on the Guild’s Board of Directors from 1992 to 2019. He is now retired. He can be reached at jeffrey.s.burman.57@gmail.com.

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