Economy

Fed Chairman Calls For Stimulus, Jobless Claims Increase

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Federal Reverse Chairman Jerome Powell called on Congress to pass more fiscal stimulus just two days ago and Chicago Fed President Charles Evans said we could see "recessionary dynamics" if there is no more stimulus.

Both of them were probably aware that today's report from the Labor Department would show the number of Americans who lost their jobs last week increased.

The weekly jobless claims report from the Labor Department on Thursday, the most timely data on the economy’s health, also showed 26 million people were on unemployment benefits in early September. [...]

“The high level of joblessness shows that the country isn’t out of the woods yet and it won’t be if the pleading of Fed officials for more stimulus isn’t heard by government officials down in Washington,” said Chris Rupkey, chief economist at MUFG in New York. “The economy is running on empty.”

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 4,000 to a seasonally adjusted 870,000 for the week ended Sept. 19. Data for the prior week was revised to show 6,000 more applications received than previously reported. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast 840,000 applications in the latest week.

An additional 630,000 gig economy workers also applied for benefits under the federal government's extended program for people not covered by state programs, bringing the total to 1.5 million new claims last week.

Now would be the perfect time for Congress to pass a stimulus package, but Senate Republicans are a little busy ramming through a Supreme Court nominee with about five weeks to go before the election.

At this point, I think we should be concerned that the extended unemployment program will expire and 500,000 or more people will lose access to benefits right before Christmas. The extended program will expire at the end of the year unless Congress renews it and it's difficult to see Republicans agreeing to that especially if they lose in November.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell could barely scrape together a simple majority of Republicans to vote for a small $300 billion stimulus package and they only held a symbolic vote so they would have something to campaign on. They aren't going to vote on anything after the campaign is over.

Everything we know tells us Congress needs to pass another stimulus package, but Republicans simply don't care.

Don't vote for people who want you broke and dead.

  • muselet

    Of course, the Rs will make a few “something needs to be done” noises and continue ignoring the plight of the unemployed and the parlous state of the economy.

    Meanwhile, Donald Trump is trying to figure out how to replace Jerome Powell and Charles Evans with DJTJ and Eric.

    –alopecia

  • katanahamon

    Unless it’s direct unemployment benefits to workers, I’m now against the current administration doling out money that will then be sucked up by con artists, grifters, large corporations and thieves. We have zero clue about how much of the previous monies were entirely wasted..we don’t even know..

    • muselet

      Couldn’t agree more.

      –alopecia