Hoyer Says Jump in Unemployment Claims Is a Further Call to Action in Virus Fight

March 19, 2020 by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON – The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits surged to its highest level in more than two years last week, causing House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer to vow the government will do “everything necessary” to help families weather the coronavirus outbreak.

According to the U.S. Labor Department applications for benefits — typically an indicator of layoffs — rose by 70,000 to a seasonally adjusted 281,000 benefit applications last week.

That was the highest weekly total since Sept. 2, 2017, following Hurricane Harvey, which caused catastrophic flooding in Texas and Louisiana.

Economists have been predicting a surge in layoffs as efforts to contain the spreading coronavirus result in people losing jobs in a variety of industries from restaurants and bars to airlines and hotels.

Both the one-week rise and the total number of applications were far above the levels seen over the past year as the country’s unemployment rate fell to a half-century low of 3.5%.

The Trump administration and Congress are scrambling to produce a support package of around $1 trillion which would provide checks to Americans who have been affected by the outbreak.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday that the administration hopes to start sending checks out in the next three weeks, but the timing will depend on how quickly Congress passes a relief plan.

In a written statement, Majority Leader Hoyer said Thursday’s unemployment insurance claims report, “displays the seriousness of the coronavirus outbreak’s impact on families in our economy.

“With so much uncertainty and so many of the nation’s businesses disrupted, workers are being let go without pay,” the Maryland Democrat said. “Ensuring that those who are losing their paychecks due to our national commitment to limiting the spread of the coronavirus can get the assistance they need will be critical to meeting this challenge.

“That’s why the Democratic-led House insisted on including an expansion of unemployment insurance benefits in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which was signed into law last night,” he continued. “It is why we will continue to insist as well that the federal government does everything necessary to help families get through this difficult time so that they can pay their bills, keep food on the table, and get the health care they need. We will not rest in meeting our responsibilities to the American people.”

In The News

Health

Voting

Economy

Biden Admin Stepping Up Community Grants from COVID Bill
Economy
Biden Admin Stepping Up Community Grants from COVID Bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden's administration is beginning to make $3 billion in economic development grants available to communities — a tenfold increase in the program paid for by this year's COVID-19 relief bill. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said her agency on Thursday will begin... Read More

Arizona Outpaces Nation In Post-COVID Private Sector Job Recovery
Economy
Arizona Outpaces Nation In Post-COVID Private Sector Job Recovery
July 21, 2021
by Brock Blasdell

According to a recently released economic report by the Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity, the state of Arizona has outpaced the nation in private sector economic recovery post-COVID. In June alone, Arizona added 26,000 private sector jobs to its economy -- a rate 17% higher than... Read More

Biden's 3rd Trip to Reddish Ohio Pushes His Economic Agenda
Biden's 3rd Trip to Reddish Ohio Pushes His Economic Agenda

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden just can't quit Ohio — even if it rejected him in last year's election. The Democrat travels to Cincinnati on Wednesday to push his economic policies. It's the third visit of his presidency to Ohio, the only state he lost... Read More

Congress Searches for Way to Make Supply Chains Resilient
Economy
Congress Searches for Way to Make Supply Chains Resilient
July 15, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- The Senate continued its search Thursday for ways to prevent the kind of devastation brought to U.S. supply chains by COVID-19. Industry executives told a Senate panel the pandemic exposed U.S. dependence on foreign suppliers to keep the lights on for their businesses. As... Read More

Small Business Advocates Plead for Help Recovering from the Pandemic
Congress
Small Business Advocates Plead for Help Recovering from the Pandemic
July 14, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Members of Congress threw their support Tuesday behind President Joe Biden’s goal of helping small and rural businesses but with different perspectives on how to achieve it. Rep. Jared Golden, D-Maine, suggested that Congress provide a dedicated source of funding for the Small Business... Read More

Explainer: Where are America’s Workers?
Employment
Explainer: Where are America’s Workers?
July 12, 2021
by Brock Blasdell

As the American economic engines churn back to life, one major hurdle stands in the way of our market renaissance - labor. Businesses, especially low wage, low skill businesses, are having a difficult time finding people to work for them.  The consequences of these shortages are... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top