With Over 31 Million On Unemployment, Republicans Leave For Recess

Written by SK Ashby

The number of newly jobless people declined last week, but an additional 1.2 million people still filed new, initial claims for unemployment according to the Labor Department.

Because over a million people are still losing their jobs every week, and because hiring as a whole has slowed, the total number of people receiving unemployment increased by almost 500,000 as more jobs are permanently lost.

From Reuters:

Thursday’s claims report also showed the number of people receiving benefits after an initial week of aid totaled 16.107 million in the week ending July 25, from 16.951 million in the prior week. A total 31.3 million people were receiving unemployment benefits under all programs in the week ending July 18, up 492,816 from the prior week.

“Today’s jobless claims are an ominous sign that many Americans are unable to get back to work after the coronavirus lockdown of the economy earlier this year,” said Chris Rupkey, chief economist at MUFG in New York. “There aren’t enough dollars flowing through the economy to help keep it growing if the government stops its support.” [...]

A report on Thursday from global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas showed job cuts announced by U.S. employers surged 54% to 262,649 in July. Hiring announcements totaled 246,507 last month.

Ordinarily -- or at least what has passed as ordinary over the past few months -- I would point out that the number of new claims is actually over 2 million if you include gig economy workers covered by the pandemic unemployment program, but that program expired last week. There is no more unemployment for people who were employed through nontraditional means.

There's a two week delay on the current count of people receiving unemployment benefits which means that number could drop off in the coming weeks, but not because people are finding jobs. The number is going to drop off because federal stimulus programs are ending with no deal in sight to renew them.

As I write this, Senate Republicans are reportedly planning to leave Washington for recess for the rest of the month with plans to return within 24 hours if a deal is eventually struck.

But you know what? They might as well leave town because they're useless anyway.

We knew there was dissent within the GOP, but this suggests that nearly half of them don't believe we should do anything at all.

The Republican party is not a governing party.