U.S. Jobless Claims Rise Amid Third Quarter Economic Growth

Headline Roundup November 19th, 2020

The United States saw a spike in initial unemployment claims last week despite record economic growth in the third quarter of 2020 amid election fallout and a COVID-19 coronavirus surge. The Labor Department (DOL) reported 742,000 new jobless claims last week, up 31,000 from the previous week. This number is three times higher than weekly average of 210,000 in the first two months of 2020, but has fallen significantly since peaking at 7 million in March. Meanwhile, the U.S. economy saw record growth during the third quarter as gross domestic product increased by an annualized rate of 33.1 percent, according to a Commerce Department report released Thursday. To reach pre-pandemic levels, the economy would have to grow an additional 13 percent.

Coverage from left- and center-rated sources tended to focus on the jobs reports; right-rated outlets tended to cover both the weekly jobs reports and the third quarter's economic growth.

U.S. Jobless Claims Rise Amid Third Quarter Economic Growth

From the Left
302

New claims for unemployment insurance remained elevated last week amid a surge in coronavirus cases, the government reported Thursday.

More than 743,000 workers filed new claims for state benefits last week, before adjusting for seasonal factors, an increase of 18,000 from the week before. With seasonal swings factored in, the latest figure was 742,000, also an increase from the previous week, the Labor Department said.

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From the Right
302

The economy grew at a record pace during the third quarter as it rebounds from the coronavirus pandemic, although it has not fully recovered to its pre-pandemic heights.

GDP increased by an annualized rate of 33.1 percent during the third quarter, a stark contrast to the second quarter’s annualized rate of 31.4 percent contraction, the Commerce Department reported Thursday. The figure is a measure of how much the economy would have grown if the third quarter rate had endured for a whole year.

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From the Center
302

The number of applications for unemployment benefits rose sharply last week, indicating continued challenges for the U.S. economic recovery as coronavirus infections increased around the country.

Initial claims for jobless benefits, a proxy for layoffs, rose to a seasonally adjusted 742,000 last week, up from the 711,000 filed a week earlier. That level is more than three times higher than the roughly 210,000 typically filed each week in the first two months of 2020, though it is down sharply from a peak of nearly seven million in late March.

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