New Unemployment Claims Increase To 840,000, Higher Than Expected

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Thomas Catenacci Energy & Environment Reporter
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The number of Americans filing new unemployment claims increased to 840,000 last week as the economy continues to suffer the effects of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, according to the Department of Labor.

The Department of Labor figure released Thursday represented an increase of new jobless claims compared to the week ending Sept. 26, in which there were 837,000 new jobless claims reported.

Economists expected Thursday’s jobless claims number to come in around 825,000, The Wall Street Journal reported. New jobless claims fell below 1 million in the first week of August, marking the first time the weekly claims were below 1 million since March. (RELATED: US Economy Plunges At Record Rate, Rebound Likely Next Quarter, Economists Say)

“It’s more of the same, but it’s also still jaw-dropping that we have that many new claims even now, as we’re six, seven months into this whole recession and recovery,” said University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign economics professor Eliza Forsythe, according to the WSJ.

Jobless claims hovered around 200,000 per week before the pandemic, according to WSJ. President Donald Trump declared a national emergency in March as coronavirus spread rapidly around the world.

The U.S. added 661,000 jobs in September, while unemployment fell to 7.9%, according to the Department of Labor data released Oct. 2.

Disney announced plans to lay off 28,000 employees on Sept. 29 while airlines have furloughed tens of thousands of employees, the WSJ reported.

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows is interviewed by Fox News outside the White House October 07, 2020 in Washington, D.C. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows is interviewed by Fox News outside the White House October 07, 2020 in Washington, D.C. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said that there “is still a long way to go” in the economic recovery on Tuesday, The New York Times reported. He added that if there was no further government support, the results could be “tragic.”

“I get the sense that [Powell] is getting worried that if we don’t have another fiscal package, that the recovery we’ve had may be in jeopardy,” said Ernie Tedeschi, a policy economist at Evercore ISI, according to The Times.

Trump tweeted Tuesday that he ordered Republican leaders to halt stimulus negotiations. However, he backtracked in a tweet on Tuesday evening.

The U.S. economy plunged by a record 31.4% in the second quarter due to the pandemic. The third quarter report, which will be released on Oct. 29, is expected to show significant growth, according to the Associated Press.

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