Today's report from the Labor Department is the last one we'll see before the presidential election is over and it tells us people are voting in an environment where over a million people are still losing their jobs every week.
Just over 750,000 Americans filed new, initial claims for unemployment last week under state programs and an additional 360,000 people filed new claims under the federal program that will expire in December.
Just under 360,000 people filed initial claims under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, which Congress created as part of its $2 trillion coronavirus relief package to provide assistance to those not typically eligible for benefits, such as gig workers and the self-employed. That's up nearly 15,000 from the week before.
Together, initial applications for benefits stood at about 1.1 million last week without seasonal adjustments.
Continued jobless claims -- which count people who have applied for benefits for at least two weeks in a row -- stood at 7.8 million, down 709,000 from the prior week's revised level, on a seasonally adjusted basis.
Thinking about today's final report before the election put it into sharp perspective that we -- or at least one of our two political parties -- have completely normalized numbers like this. Republicans have accepted a million jobless claims every week as if it's just the new normal, but if it is the new normal it's a normal they've created.
At the very least, they do not treat this like the crisis it is nor do they treat it much of any way at all. The Republican party is no longer a governing party. The most significant thing they've done in the last 12 years -- from the time President Obama took office to next week's election -- is cut taxes for the rich and steal Supreme Court seats. That's it.
I know I'm preaching to the choir here, but it could not be any more clear who voters should choose next week.
Vote for Democrats if you would like to have a functioning government.