Jobless claims continue to increase as COVID-19 cases soar

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The number of people losing their jobs continues to increase as COVID-19 cases continue to surge across the United States. Last week,  778,000 workers filed for jobless claims as states impose additional lockdowns or stay-at-home orders.

“Weekly unemployment insurance claims are moving in the wrong direction with the first back-to-back increases since July,” said Robert Frick, corporate economist at Navy Federal Credit Union. “Together with a slower-than-expected drop in continuing claims, we’re seeing the effects of rapidly-rising COVID-19 cases across the country.”

Since the novel coronavirus emerged in the United States, approximately 68 million Americans filed for jobless claims.

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Fast-forwarding to today, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to intimately touch every aspect of human existence, forever changing how we shop, travel, and interact in the workplace. A keen example of how workplaces have changed is the increasing numbers of firms switching to remote work for employees.

A startling aspect of the pandemic has been the shutdown of the American economy, leading to huge swathes of the population to apply for state and federal benefits. In many cases, state benefits have run out for recipients, leaving them only with federal benefits laid forth in the CARES Act.

The unemployment benefits provided by the CARES Act is set to expire on Dec. 26, raising questions of whether Americans can expect an additional relief package ahead of 2021. Approximately 12 million Americans will lose their unemployment benefits if the federal government will not extend it.

Looming in the background is the now-completed presidential election, which turned into a major slugfest between President Trump and President-elect Biden over the legitimacy of the electoral outcome.

While the Trump team has made a series of allegations, major evidence has yet to be provided to prove that this indeed is the case. It is no surprise that Americans are desperate to usher in a new year that will be free from the pandemic and petty partisan politics.

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