The Bad Number Went Up Again

Screenshot: DoLAccording to data released today by the Department of Labor, about 500,000 more Americans went on unemployment between July 11 and 18, pushing that number above 31 million in total. In economics, it’s sometimes the case that big number equals good. This is not such a case.Half a million is a grim improvement over…

The Bad Number Went Up Again

Screenshot: DoLAccording to data released today by the Department of Labor, about 500,000 more Americans went on unemployment between July 11 and 18, pushing that number above 31 million in total. In economics, it’s sometimes the case that big number equals good. This is not such a case.Half a million is a grim improvement over the huge unemployment filing numbers the U.S. saw during the initial wave of economic freefall created by covid-19, but it’s troubling that the bad number is going up at all this many month into the pandemic. Unemployment benefits are, of course, something of a lagging indicator, insofar as some layoffs or furloughs may transition to full-on job loss, and many states are still catching up on a historic number of backlogged claims.
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