Relapse and Rescue

By Isaac Cohen*

It is always risky, even more so in these uncertain times, to draw conclusions based on one or two-month figures. The creation of 7.5 million new jobs in May and June, hailed by some as evidence of a V shaped recovery, may be turning into a relapse. Early openings in several states, such as Arizona, California, Florida and Texas, have turned into renewed business shutdowns, due to surges in coronavirus infections. Some analysts estimate that more than 30 states have slowed down the process of opening economic activities.

Moreover, based on the number of unemployment insurance claims, at a weekly average of over one million during the last 16 weeks, more than 30 million workers are now collecting unemployment benefits, which is equivalent to almost 20 percent of the work force. According to a Census Bureau household survey, during the last two weeks, more than 1.4 million additional workers each week said they were not working. Therefore, hiring by those creating new jobs, such as e-commerce and high technology companies, does not yet compensate for the jobs that are rapidly vanishing in companies such as airlines, hotels, restaurants and retail.

All these reasons have contributed to generate consensus, in Congress and the White House, about the need to approve a fourth rescue package, as some of the benefits of the previous package are scheduled to expire soon.

*International analyst and consultant, former Director ECLAC Washington. Commentator on economic and financial issues for CNN en Español TV and radio, TELEMUNDO and UNVISION and other media.  

About Ramón Jiménez

Ramón Jiménez, Managing Editor de MetroLatinoUSA.Com (MLN). Graduado de la Escuela de Periodismo de la Universidad del Distrito de Columbia (UDC). Email: ramonjimenez169@gmail.com

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