Inequality: millions still left behind by US economic recovery – By Patricia Sabga (Al Jazeera) / Sept 17 2020
Jobless claims show layoffs remain widespread while new single-family home construction remains brisk.
More evidence surfaced on Thursday of the widening divide between the haves and have-nots in the United States, with data signalling an economic recovery that is going well for the well-off while leaving millions of jobless Americans behind.
Some 860,000 Americans filed for state unemployment benefits last week, a decrease of only 33,000 from the previous week, the US Department of Labor reported.
Add in people filing for federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) – gig workers and self-employed individuals who are not eligible for state programmes – and the total climbs to 1.5 million Americans who applied for unemployment benefits last week.
The big picture is even more sobering. Some 29,768,326 Americans were collecting unemployment benefits in the week ending August 29. That is roughly 28 million more people than February 1. Even adjusting for millions of double counts – individuals collecting benefits from both state and federal programmes – that number is still staggering.