The number of Americans who filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week totaled 1.434 million, the Labor Department reported Thursday, roughly in line with expectations, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to ravage the U.S. economy. It was the 19th straight week in which initial claims totaled at least 1 million and the second consecutive week in which initial claims rose after declining for 15 straight weeks.
Economists polled by Dow Jones had expected claims to rise to 1.45 million for the week ending July 25.
In a separate report, the government said second-quarter gross domestic product plunged a historic 32.9% on an annualized basis. Although it wasn’t as bad as the expected 34.7% decline, it was the worst drop ever, with the closest previously coming in mid-1921.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy shrank at a dizzying 32.9% annual rate in the April-June quarter — by far the worst quarterly plunge ever — when the viral outbreak shut down businesses, throwing tens of millions out of work and sending unemployment surging to 14.7%, the government said Thursday.
The Commerce Department’s estimate of the second-quarter decline in the gross domestic product, the total output of goods and services, marked the sharpest such drop on records dating to 1947. The previous worst quarterly contraction, a 10% drop, occurred in 1958 during the Eisenhower administration.
Colt now fears she may have to shutter her business permanently. Many small businesses nationwide are reaching similar breaking points in an economy with the highest unemployment rate since the Great Depression. Small firms have survived the pandemic so far with a mix of government aid, forbearance on debt and rent and creativity in selling to an increasingly homebound and financially distressed populace.
As the first wave of U.S. aid runs short – and landlords and lenders lose patience – lawmakers are in tense negotiations over a new round of stimulus, which could include more money for small business.
Older computer systems that took weeks to set up for the initial federal unemployment enhancement would need to be reprogrammed again twice under the GOP plan.
In Florida, state Rep. Anna Eskamani, a Democrat from Orlando, said the state has not even gotten the original supplemental benefit to everyone entitled to it.
“So the idea of changing the current process that has taken us months to put into place, that is still not even perfect, is a scary thought,” she said.
“These changes, whatever they end up being, are going to create more bureaucratic layers for people to get the relief they need. Meanwhile we have bills to pay, we have to put food on the table, we have medical expenses and a lot of people are suffering.”
How to handle unemployment is a fiercely contested part of the debate as Congress negotiates the latest relief legislation.
New York (CNN Business) Sales of Elsa and Anna dolls and Baby Yoda toys weren’t strong enough to save Hasbro this spring. The company reported a bigger-than-expected drop in revenue and adjusted earnings for the second quarter. Shares fell 8% on the news Monday.
Hasbro (HAS), which makes toys tied to popular Disney (DIS) franchises as well as Nerf, Monopoly and Peppa Pig, said that overall sales were down 29% in the quarter.
The company blamed the rash of temporary store closures in March and April and factory shutdowns across the globe due to Covid-19 for the weak results.
Hasbro said that Chinese factories, which make up about 55% of the company’s production, are now operating at normal levels and trying to catch up to meet demand for the holidays. Toy production at facilities in the United States, Ireland, and India are ramping back up, too.