U.S. initial jobless claims flat at 884,000 in latest week; ongoing claims rise

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Right now. The weekly tally of jobless claims is out while a pandemic stimulus bill appears dead in Washington, were joined by Gus Fouche, chief economist at PNC Financial Services, based in Pittsburgh. Let's begin with the jobless claims Gus kind of give us a thumbnail sketch of them and what you think about it. So basically the number of people applying for unemployment in the insurance in the week of September 5th was about flat with what we have had previously the end of August, and the number of people getting unemployment insurance actually rose slightly in late August. So what That indicates is that layoffs are still extremely high. We have, you know, 30 million people getting unemployment insurance benefits close to that and there just a huge number of elevated. There's a huge number of people getting unemployment in the situation does not appear to beginning much better. And so this interesting, very interesting situation in Washington, I guess is just exacerbating the situation here is it doesn't appear like we're going to get a deal done that. That's right. And obviously there, you know, we have 30 million people. Almost 30 million people getting unemployment. Many of them saw their benefits cut at the end of July when those that extra $600 per week expired. And I think a lot of them are going to be very stretched financially. And so I think it's important that if we want the recovery to continue that consumers, those who've been laid off in lost their jobs have money to spend. And I'm worried that the longer this persistent, the more it's going to drag on consumer spending, and it's going to slow the economic recovery that we're starting to see, and maybe even just the uncertainty making people who do have jobs less likely to spend their money. That's right. I mean, obviously we continue to see layoffs from a lot of companies. The situation with the pandemic does not appear to be getting any better on so I think that people are reluctant to spend both because they're concerned about been debt pandemic, But they're also concerned about their own jobs in their own financial situation. And so that could become a drag is this is things continue? So what do we need? If there is a deal in Washington and with the politics, we don't know if we'll get one. But what would you as an economist like to see their their few things I'd like to see. I'd like to see, Additionally do the unemployed and perhaps additional stimulus checks like many households got earlier this year. I think we need more small business assistance. Many of those small businesses are closing. Even though they would be viable. If it's the pay endemic. We're not in place and then I think we need a day for state and local governments were going to start to see huge job and budget cuts at the state and local government level later this year, and that's going to be real drag unless Congress can provide made their good inside. Thank you so much. That is Gus Fouche, chief economist at PNC Financial Services, based in

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