The pace of recovery in the U.S. job market is slowing down as the coronavirus epidemic continues to spread.
According to the data released by the U.S. Department of Labor on February 4th local time, the number of first-time jobless claims in the week ending January 30 was 779,000, down from only 33,000 compared with the previous week, and the employment situation did not improve significantly.
The sluggish job market has brought great difficulties to the lives of the American people.
Despite the repeated federal government’s relevant relief bills, the distribution process of relief funds has been hindered, making it difficult for the unemployed to get the life-saving money, and a large number of low-income people who have lost their economic resources are struggling with basic food, clothing, housing and transportation.
Job market depression
The United States is experiencing a very serious wave of unemployment over time in history.
The number of first-time jobless claims in the United States fell by 33,000 in the week ending January 30 to 779,000, four times the same period last year.
The report shows that nearly 350,000 people applied for “epidemic unemployment benefits” for the first time.
Different from ordinary unemployment benefits, “epidemic unemployment benefits” are open to freelancers.
The two names add up, and the number of first-time claims for relief reached nearly 1.2 million in the week, a decrease of 78,000 compared with the previous week.
In addition, the number of people applying for unemployment benefits in the United States has reached 4.6 million for two consecutive weeks, and the unemployment rate is expected to be 6.7% in January 2021.
Although a series of data have improved from the previous week, economists are still pessimistic about the pace of job market recovery.
The U.S. Congressional Budget Office recently released a report pointing out that the unemployment wave caused by the epidemic will persist for a long time, and the job market will not return to pre-epidemic levels until 2024.
The report predicts that between 2024 and 2025, the unemployment rate will fall back to 4.2%, close to 3.5% in February last year.
The government likes to ignore
Filing an application to the government does not mean successful receipt of relief benefits.
Inefficient government affairs and complicated application procedures are deeply afflicting millions of unemployed Americans.
Singleton, 80, was an audit manager at a printing company in Nashville, Tennessee. He has not been able to receive relief after being laid off during the epidemic.
Singleton said that he completed a series of complicated procedures accurately, but every time he called the relevant department to inquire about the approval progress, he received feedback either endless busy lines or hung up the phone directly.
According to Fox News, as of the 2nd local time, nearly 40,000 people in Tennessee are still waiting for the belated relief.
Looking across the United States, it is more common for relief to be late.
On February 1 local time, Forsys, an economist at the University of Illinois, released a report showing that only about 24% of the 11 million unemployed people in the United States have successfully received benefits, which means that about 8 million of them have completely lost their financial resources.
Forsys pointed out that 4% of the unemployed have passed the application for relief and is currently waiting, and the process usually lasts for four to six months.
In addition, many people who meet the requirements for application have abandoned their applications due to complicated procedures and poor access to information.
It is difficult for low-income groups to maintain basic livelihood security.
Unemployment has brought a severe food crisis to Americans. According to data released by the U.S. Census Bureau recently, about 30 million families in the United States were facing food shortages in January 2021.
This phenomenon is particularly prominent in some low-income communities.
One in seven adults in Georgia lack food; about 900,000 residents of the Los Angeles County Food Bank come to collect free food every month, accounting for about one-tenth of the region’s population; while in Massachusetts, 97% of the region’s demand for free food continues to grow.
According to the charity Feed America, more than 17 million children in the United States have been unable to eat during the epidemic, accounting for about one-fifth of the total number of children in the United States.
A recent article in The Washington Post pointed out that it is a luxury for some families to have enough to eat, and their children have to sleep with hunger.
In addition, the unaffordable rent is another survival crisis facing Americans.
According to the household pulse survey released by the U.S. Census Bureau, about 15.1 million adults in the United States have difficulty paying rent, accounting for 21% of the total tenants.
The Los Angeles Times noted that these tenants are suffering from long-term damage to housing instability and may take years to recover.
The livelihood problems caused by the job market downturn are devouring the American people, and the delayed relief is even worse.
USA Today pointed out that the new stimulus bill being introduced by the Biden administration may double the application for relief funds, which will lead to further slowing down the speed of trials and grants.
Experts believe that accelerating the efficiency of government office is an effective way to help people get out of difficulties compared with the implementation of a new round of economic stimulus plan.