As the coronavirus continues to wreak havoc on the economy, more and more Americans are being furloughed as a result of mandatory “stay at home” orders. In a recent report from the BLS, jobless claims surged to 3.28 million last week (March 15 to 21). This is, no doubt, horrible news. It’s the highest level of seasonally adjusted initial claims ever recorded. For context, the previous record number of claims was 695,000 in October of 1982.
Some relief for Americans
There is no disputing that the COVID-19 outbreak has impacted the livelihood of every American. And although these numbers are scary, they don’t report the entire picture of today’s landscape. Even with a record-setting number of jobless claims, the U.S. stock market has surged for three days straight as a result of a new $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package being passed by the Senate on Wednesday, March 25. The bill is expected to pass through the House on Friday.
The bill includes “one-time direct payments to individuals, stronger unemployment insurance, loans and grants to businesses and more health-care resources for hospitals, states, and municipalities.” It also requires insurance providers to cover preventative services for COVID-19, such as testing. Here is a summary of the aid the bill offers:
- More than $350 billion to aid small businesses
- $150 billion to hospitals and other health-care providers for equipment and supplies
- Direct payments in early April to lower- and middle-income Americans of $1,200 for each adult. Families will also receive $500 for each child
- Unemployment insurance extension to four months, plus an extra $600 weekly, with more workers eligible
- $500 billion for distressed companies, including industry-specific loans for airlines, hotel companies, and others battered by the economic downturn
All of these things above are an intent to subsidize the income millions of Americans and the lost revenue of companies across the nation. Obviously, this isn’t an ideal situation, but this aid will definitely help the American economy and job market strongly recover once we are ”over the hill” with the battle against COVID-19. And as a result, the Dow Jones has been rebounding nicely the last few days. On Tuesday, March 24th, The Dow closed over 11% ahead, the strongest single-day gain since 1933.
The COVID-19 outbreak is creating jobs
Although millions of jobs are temporarily slashed, and many others are forced to work remotely, thousands of jobs are being generated. Several companies in various industries are experiencing surges in hiring as they attempt to keep up with the demand created by the virus. For example, Amazon is one of many distributors building up its staff to accommodate the explosive growth of online sales, as many Americans are stuck in quarantine. Currently, Amazon is looking to add over 100,000 warehouse and shipping workers. CVS is also ready to add 50,000 workers to their team. So yes, while some employers, especially smaller businesses, are feeling the pressure of the COVID-19 outbreak, other companies are thriving.
We’re ready to lend a hand
We’ll know more about the impact of this virus on the labor market from the upcoming Jobs Report. There is no doubt that many are struggling right now; however, there is some good news out there amongst all the negativity. And at JSG, we are here to help those struggling at this time. There are still employers out there hiring, and we are ready to work for you to find you a great opportunity during these trying times. And if you’re a hiring manager feeling the sudden pressure, we are here to help you build up your staff. So, whether it’s on a temporary or permanent basis, we are ready to work for you. Stay safe out there.