President Trump signed four executive actions Saturday aimed at delivering relief to Americans struggling with the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic while accusing Democrats of stonewalling greater aid efforts. Trump announced a $400-per-week supplemental unemployment payment to out-of-work Americans — short of the $600 weekly benefit that expired at the end of July. He unveiled an extension of student loan relief and protections from evictions for renters and homeowners. Trump also issued a payroll tax holiday through the end of the year for Americans earning less than $100,000, while promising more relief if he wins a second term. The president signed the executive actions from his Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., as club members cheered him on. He blamed Democrats for the coronavirus stalemate in Congress and said he’d take matters into his own hands. “Democrats are obstructing all of it,” Trump said. “Therefore, I’m taking executive action … and we’re going to save American jobs and provide relief to the American workers.” For the new $400-per-week benefit, states would be on the hook for funding 25 percent for the millions of jobless Americans, while the federal government would pick up 75 percent of the benefit, Trump said. Asked when the jobless would see the money, Trump said it would be “rapidly distributed.” The $400 boost is more than what many congressional Republicans wanted. Some opposed any extension of the federal aid, while others backed a boost no greater than $200 per week. Meanwhile, Democrats had been fighting for the full $600-per-week extension, which is on top of state unemployment benefits. Click here for more:
Millions of Americans have lost their jobs during the coronavirus pandemic – and many who are claiming unemployment benefits may be faced with a surprise tax bill next year. The IRS requires people to report income received in the form of unemployment. Some states tax benefits, too. However, when you receive unemployment there’s typically no withholding, meaning individuals have to choose to have taxes withheld. And even then, it’s usually at a rate of 10 percent, which may not be enough for some people who have been receiving expanded unemployment benefits. “Unemployment withholding may not cover their actual tax liability,” Eric Bronnenkant, Head of Tax at Betterment, told FOX Business. “That $600 essentially allowed people to make more money on unemployment [than working, so] 10 percent is even less likely to cover their actual tax.” Additionally, Bronnenkant noted that people may choose not to have any money withheld because they need as much cash as possible for essential expenses. Others may look at it as a “next year problem,” he added. How prominent this issue will be next tax season depends on the future of the U.S. economy and the extent to which lawmakers decide to renew the expanded unemployment benefits in pending relief legislation. The additional $600, which was a policy under the CARES Act, expired at the end of July. The number of people receiving benefits was about 16 million as of July 25. But the tax issue stands to be problematic for many, especially those who are collecting benefits for the first time. According to a recent survey, 37% of Americans thought unemployment compensation was not considered taxable income. More than half of respondents did not know that they had to request to have taxes withheld from unemployment compensation. If you do not have taxes withheld from your checks, you may have to make quarterly estimated payments to the IRS. These payments are typically required of individuals who expect to owe tax of $1,000 or more when their return is filed.
The U.S. economy added 1.8 million jobs in July and the unemployment rate fell to 10.2 percent, providing reassurance that the labor market has kept up some of its post-lockdown momentum. The numbers were better than anticipated. Economists had forecast an addition of around 1.5 million jobs and a decline in the unemployment rate to 10.6 percent from 11.1 percent last week. The economy has added around 9.1 million jobs in the past three months. The increase in the ranks of employed workers shows that companies ramped up hiring as the economy reopened and consumers came back to stores, restaurants, and other businesses that had been shuttered in March and April. Despite the gains, employment in July was lower than its February level by 12.9 million, or 8.4 percent The largest employment increases in July occurred in leisure and hospitality, government, retail trade, professional and business services, other services, and health care, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said in its monthly report on the employment situation in the U.S. The leisure and hospitality sector added 592,000 jobs in July, accounting for about one-third of the gain in total nonfarm employment in July. Restaurants and bars added 502,000 employees, following gains of 2.9 million in May and June combined. This was the hardest hit area during the pandemic lockdowns when many businesses were forced to shut their doors or saw demand plummet. Manufacturing had a strong month, in large part because of the auto sector. Employment increased by 26,000. A gain of 39,000 in motor vehicles and parts was partially offset by losses in fabricated metal products, machinery, and computer and electronic products. Although manufacturing has added 623,000 jobs over the past 3 months, employment is 740,000 lower than in February, highlighting that the recovery has brought us less than halfway back to the pandemic starting point. In a surprise, government employment rose by 301,000 in July. Typically, public-sector employment falls in July. Nonetheless, government jobs are still 1.1 million lower than the February level. It appears that some of the typical July declines happened earlier than usual this year due to the lockdowns. In one negative note in the July report, the black unemployment rate remained basically unchanged at 14.6 percent for the month, although unemployment for most other population groups improved. Prior to the pandemic, black unemployment had fallen to record lows. Yet even with the retreat, the black unemployment remains below the 16.6 percent rate hit in the second year of the Obama administration. As well, the gap between black and white unemployment is narrower than was typical before Trump’s election, when black unemployment usually ran at twice the white rate. In fact, the black-white unemployment gap is at the narrowest it has ever been in data going back to the 1970s. And black gains in employment for the month were greater than those for whites and Hispanics. A report on private payrolls from ADP and Moody’s Analytics on Wednesday estimated that businesses increased their workforces by 167,000 million in July. The ADP reports have been wildly off in recent months, apparently unable to correctly anticipate the impact of the reopening of the economy. The initial estimate for estimate June was 2.4 million jobs, which was revised up to 4.3 million. Similarly, the estimate for May initially showed a loss of 2.76 million jobs, and had to be revised up to show a gain of 3 million. The Trump administration’s aid programs appear to have worked to stave off economic disaster in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. Direct relief payments to taxpayers and enhanced unemployment have kept incomes up despite the huge rise in unemployment, which in turn has boosted demand for consumer products. The Paycheck Protection Progam, which provides forgivable loans to small businesses that avoid layoffs, also seems to have supported employment and rehiring. Those programs, however, have largely run their course. The $600 a week enhancement to unemployment benefits expired a week ago. The Paycheck Protection Program was meant to support employment for just a few months and most of the funds are now exhausted. Negotiations to re-up the programs have stalled on Capitol Hill, although President Donald Trump has said he will use executive orders to maintain federal support for the economy if Congress cannot agree on a plan.
More good economic news that we’re happy to report. For more, click on the text above. 🙂
New claims for unemployment benefits fell to 1.314 million for the week ended July 6, 99 thousand fewer than a week earlier, the Department of Labor reported Thursday. Economists surveyed by Econoday had been expecting 1.375 million claims. This was the 15th consecutive week with initial claims above one million. Expectations for claims to fall have come down. A week ago, economists forecast that claims would fall to 1.38 million but they were reported at 1.427 million. Those claims were revised down by 14,000. The estimate for ongoing unemployment claims, those made after the initial filing, during the week ending June 27 was 18,062,000, a decrease of 698,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised down by 530,000 from 19,290,000 to 18,760,000. The 4-week moving average was 19,085,500, a decrease of 636,000 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised down by 132,500 from 19,854,000 to 19,721,500. The federal government has been chipping in an extra $600 a week to state unemployment benefits, making the program much more generous. Many workers can now earn more on unemployment than they did when they had a job. An analysis done by Isabel Soto of the American Action Forum found that the maximum unemployment benefit amount is greater than median wage in all states except the District of Columbia. That may be discouraging some workers from seeking work and leaving the unemployment rolls. “Using 2019 wage and unemployment data, an upper–bound estimate of 92.8 million workers (or 63 percent of the workforce) typically make below the maximum weekly unemployment benefits under the CARES Act,” Soto wrote. These super-sized benefits, however, are set to run out in July. In addition to claims for regular unemployment benefits, the government now offers two new forms of unemployment benefits to business owners, self-employed, gig-workers, and independent contractors who would not ordinarily qualify for unemployment benefits. The highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending June 6 were in Puerto Rico, Nevada, Hawaii, the Virgin Islands, New York, California, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Georgia, and Connecticut. The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending June 27 were in Michigan (+18,668), Indiana (+15,496), Texas (+7,046), Virginia (+6,662), and Kentucky (+5,794), while the largest decreases were in Oklahoma (-40,208), Florida (-11,313), Maryland (-9,926), Georgia (-8,240), and California (-7,132).
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The U.S. economy added 4.8 million jobs in June and the unemployment rate fell to 11.1 percent, both better than expected. The economy has added around 7.3 million jobs in the past two months. The increase in the ranks of employed workers shows that companies ramped up hiring as the economy reopened and consumers came back to stores, restaurants, and other businesses that had been shuttered in March and April. Job growth was strong in restaurants and bars, reflecting the reopening of those establishments across the country, which added 1.5 million jobs, the Labor Department said Thursday. But employment remains 3.1 million below February’s level, the month before the pandemic hit the U.S. economy. Retail stores added 740,000. There were big gains in clothing stores, furniture stores, department stores, and auto dealerships. Despite the gains, total employment is around 1.5 million below February’s level. Manufacturing employment rose by 356,000 but is down by 757,000 since February. June employment increases were concentrated in the durable goods component, with the auto sector adding 196,000 jobs, accounting for over half of the job gain in manufacturing. Construction employment increased by 158,000 in June, following a gain of 453,000 in May. Employers added the jobs even as much of the country was beset by urban riots, looting of commercial districts, and marches by self-styled “black lives matter” activists calling for the defunding of police and the toppling of statues of political leaders from America’s past. Despite the increase in the number of employed workers, there are still tens of millions fewer Americans working today than February. Compared with a year ago, there are 12.957 million fewer jobs in the U.S. And a separate report on Thursday showed that over 1.427 million Americans were laid off last week, the fifteenth week in a row of one million-plus new claims for unemployment benefits but the thirteenth week in a row of declining claims. The previous week’s level of jobless claims was revised up by 2,000 from 1,480,000 to 1,482,000. Economists had been expecting around 3 million new jobs, although the range of estimates was unusually wide due to the unprecedented nature of the shutdown and reopening. Estimates ranged from 1.9 million jobs to more than 9 million. The unemployment rate was expected to fall to 12.4 percent from 13.3 percent. A report on private payrolls from ADP and Moody’s Analytics on Wednesday estimated that businesses increased their workforces by 2.37 million in June. The estimate for May, which initially showed a loss of 2.76 million jobs, was revised to show a gain of 3 million. The government’s nonfarm payroll data, which covers both private and public sector workers, showed the economy gaining 2.5 million jobs in May, far more than expected and indicating an accelerated pace of the recovery. The number of unemployed people who were out of the labor but rejoined in June rose by 711,000 to 2.4 million. The labor force participation rate increased by 0.7 percentage points in June to 61.5 percent, but is 1.9 percentage points below its February level. Total employment, as measured by the household survey, rose by 4.9 million to 142.2 million in June. The employment-population ratio, at 54.6 percent, rose by 1.8 percentage points over the month but is 6.5 percentage points lower than in February. Average hourly wages are up 5 percent compared with a year ago, although they fell 1.3 percent compared with May. Average wages often rise at times of mass layoffs when lower-paid employees are more likely to lose their jobs. The average workweek slipped from 34.7 hours to 34.5 hours. The number of unemployed persons who were on temporary layoff decreased by 4.8 million in June to 10.6 million, following a decline of 2.7 million in May. But this was more than offset by an increase in the number of permanent job losers, which rose by 588,000 to 2.9 million in June. It’s likely that some people who considered themselves only temporarily laid off now realize they have been permanently cut. The Trump administration’s aid programs appear to be working. Direct relief payments to taxpayers and enhanced unemployment have kept incomes up despite the huge rise in unemployment, which in turn has boosted demand for consumer products. The Paycheck Protection Progam, which provides forgivable loans to small businesses that avoid layoffs, also seems to have supported employment and rehiring. While some in Washington, D.C. may see the better than expected job figures as a reason to pull back on the aid or decline to extend enhanced unemployment benefits past their end of July expiration, a stronger case can be made for extending aid that has played such a crucial role in helping the labor market recover. Without the loans, relief payments, and unemployment enhancement, it is unlikely consumer demand would support such high levels of hiring. Withdrawing the support prematurely would risk a second-stage collapse in employment. White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow on Thursday said the moment for enhanced unemployment payments had passed. The administration is working on ways to modify the unemployment enhancement so that it does not create a disincentive to work by paying people more in benefits than they earned on the job. That could include stepping down the enhancement from $600 a week, which is paid on top of regular state unemployment benefits, to a lower level, perhaps $300 per week. Another possible solution explored by the administration would be to transform the enhancement into a “back to work bonus” that would continue to be paid when work resumed. Kudlow and others inside the White House have referred to this as a “re-employment bonus” that could replace the “unemployment bonus.” On Wednesday, President Donald Trump said he supported a fresh round of relief payments and indicated that he would increase their size from the $1,200 paid in the prior round. The monthly figures are constructed from data collected mid-month, in this case, the week ended June 12. As a result, they may not reflect any slowdown that may have been caused by a renewed surge of coronavirus infections and backtracking on reopenings in some states later in the month.
Much needed good news!! And, what’s great is just how WRONG the dominantly liberal mainstream media predicted it would be. Scroll down to see how that idiot Rachel Maddow blew it. It’s a beautiful thing, lol. For more on this story, click on the text above. 🙂
MSNBC host Rachel Maddow may have read the tea leaves wrong as she boldly predicted that June’s jobs report would be “absolutely terrible.” Ahead of the release of the latest jobs report, which showed that 4.8 million jobs were added to the U.S. economy last month, the liberal icon offered a dire warning at the end of her show Wednesday night. “Because Friday is the federal holiday honoring the Fourth of July, we’re actually gonna get the jobless numbers, the unemployment for the month of June a day earlier than we would otherwise expect them,” Maddow told her viewers. “Brace yourself. It’s going to be absolutely terrible, but we should have those as of tomorrow morning.” Well, the jobs report wasn’t “absolutely terrible” after all. The nearly 5 million jobs that were added resulted in the unemployment rate dropping to 11.1 percent from the previous 13.3 percent. Economists expected the rate would be 12.3 percent with an increase of just 3 million jobs amid the recovery from the shutdowns brought upon by the coronavirus outbreak. Maddow emerged as MSNBC’s biggest star amid the Russia investigation, almost exclusively dedicating her primetime show on the latest developments she suggested would lead to evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. However, ever since Special Counsel Robert Mueller concluded his investigation, Maddow’s ratings have plummeted.“The Rachel Maddow Show,” which is MSNBC’s most-watched program, finished the month of May behind five different Fox News programs in total viewership, including non-primetime shows “The Five” and “Special Report with Bret Baier.” Maddow’s performance in May was even more alarming among the key demographic of adults age 25-54, where she averaged 455,000 viewers to finish tied for No. 7 in cable news, behind five different Fox News shows and even one program on MSNBC’s fellow liberal network CNN. Maddow has been outside the top five cable news programs among total viewers and outside the top six in the demo for four consecutive months. Maddow has shed demo viewers for three straight months at the same time America has seen an unprecedented news cycle filled with everything from a global pandemic to rampant joblessness to the tragic death of George Floyd in police custody.
It’s truly amazing Rachel Maddow has even one viewer. She comes across as this erudite, smarter than everyone else, arrogant, liberal elitist…and the thing is.. She is spectacularly stupid, and wrong about almost everything. This is just the latest example of her being oh so wrong, that we’re very happy to document here for you. You’re welcome. 🙂
What’s the best-kept secret about the labor market in May? Probably the expansion of black employment. The number of African Americans holding jobs expanded to 16,523,000 from 16,240,000 in May. That 283,000 rise was more than ten time the rise of the population, so it involves a real expansion of employment among African Americans. Both black men and black women gained jobs. Black male jobholders increased by 170,000 to 8.97 million. Black female jobholders rose by 102,000 to 10.97 million. Those are record-high gains for each category. So why did Bloomberg and others report these record-high job gains as if they were losses? “Trump Invokes Floyd on Job Data Even as Black Unemployment Soars,” a Bloomberg headline proclaimed. The black unemployment rate did rise slightly in May, ticking up from 16.7 to 16.8. But that was because the reopening of the American economy drew more African Americans into the workforce, increasing it by 377,000 workers. That raised the workforce participation rate from 58.6 percent to 59.6 percent. The unemployment rate is the percentage of workers who say they want work but cannot find it. Even with no change in employment, it can fall if people stop looking for jobs, becoming what economists call “discouraged workers.” And it can rise if more people look for work, which is what happened in May for African Americans. In other words, the black unemployment rate rose for the best possible reason: because more African Americans were finding jobs, drawing even more into the workforce. That is how President Donald Trump could have explained to PBS Newshour White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor that this is “a victory” It’s also notable that even with the expansion of the workforce, African American unemployment dropped to 15.5 from 16.1. It rose among black women from 16.4 to 16.5 and black teenagers from 28 percent to 34 percent. Of course, African American employment has still suffered horrendously under the coronavirus shutdowns. Back in February, the participation rate had risen all the way to 63.1 percent. The unemployment rate had fallen 5.8 percent. A total of 19.73 million African Americans held jobs. So the economy has a long way to go to rebuild black employment. But May was a good month for black employment and the beginning of the recovery rather than another step-down.
Indeed.. Definitely good news!
Critics of President Trump have made endless arguments that he has not acted quickly and boldly enough to combat the coronavirus pandemic. They are now getting a dose of the old adage, “be careful what you wish for, it just might come true.” In response to the widespread unemployment caused by the virus, the president said Tuesday that he would sign an executive order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States for at least 60 days. If the goal is to get Americans back to work, this is one of the best moves the president could make. When America was near full employment just a few months ago, one could at least make a case for a steady immigration flow. If there are more jobs than workers, then more workers are needed. That is no longer the case. There are about 22 million American citizens in desperate need of steady work. They need to be our first priority right now. We often hear that Washington doesn’t look out for the little guy, that it’s all about big business and billionaires. This executive order is all about helping the struggling everyman, and yet the avalanche of criticism has already begun. Critics say it is racist, xenophobic and illegal. All of those accusations are false. The racism charge was used when the president issued his travel ban targeting specific countries. He’s focusing on Muslim countries with people of color, they argued. Ignored was the fact that those countries either were long ago identified as state sponsors of terrorism or could not provide U.S. immigration authorities with reliable documents to vet its citizens to protect our national security. The president’s authority to institute such a ban was vindicated by the Supreme Court’s ruling in Trump v. Hawaii. This new suspension affects foreign nationals of every color and faith, so any charge of racism is patently absurd. Opposition to this suspension will be more than just rhetoric. The anti-borders industry will attack with a flurry of lawsuits meant to serve as a roadblock. The fact is that significant legal, legislative and historical precedent supports the president. In addition to the ruling in Trump v. Hawaii, section 1182(f) of Title 8 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) allows the president to “suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or non-immigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem appropriate.” When Congress debated the INA in 1952, Rep. Francis Walters, D-Pa., one of the bill’s sponsors, was prescient when he said, “[In a time of foreign pandemic], people might conceivably in large numbers come to the United States and bring all sorts of communicable diseases with them. More than that, suppose we have a period of great unemployment? In the judgment of the committee, it is advisable at such times to permit the president to say that for a certain time we are not going to aggravate that situation.” The congressman may as well have been speaking about our current predicament. When America faced similar hyper-unemployment during the Great Depression, the federal government drastically reduced legal immigration levels by almost 90 percent. Just as important, there is significant popular support for the president’s action. A recent Harvard-Harris poll found that 83 percent of Americans favor ending all immigration from Mexico during the coronavirus pandemic. These are not people who fear others who do not look like them. They are fearful that they will not be able to provide for their families, and they rightfully expect their government to protect our citizens first. This crisis has caused us to ask some very fundamental questions about the relationship between government and the people. It also shines a bright light on the disconnect between ordinary citizens and many in the world of politics. The first responsibility of the American government must be the well-being of American citizens. President Trump should be lauded, not criticized, for accepting that responsibility when so many in Washington do not.
Agreed 100%!! Thanks to Dale L. Wilcox for that spot-on op/ed. Dale is executive director and general counsel at the Immigration Reform Law Institute, a public interest law firm working to defend the rights and interests of the American people from the negative effects of illegal migration. Outstanding!! 🙂
The great American jobs creation machine is firing on all cylinders, with February’s jobs figures showing far more strength than expected and both January and December being raised higher than previously reported. The U.S. economy added 273,000 jobs in February and the unemployment rate ticked down to 3.5 percent, the government said Friday. Economists had forecast 175,000 nonfarm payroll growth and the unemployment rate to tick down slightly to 3.5 percent from 3.6 percent the prior month. Average hourly earnings were up by 3 percent compared with a year ago. The average workweek climbed a bit to 34.4 hours. December’s estimate of payroll growth was revised upward by 37,000 to 184,000. January’s number was revised up by 48,000 to 273,000. That adds a total of 85,000 more jobs than had previously been reported putting the three-month moving average at 243,000 jobs The labor market has been a bright spot for the American economy in recent months, with unemployment at or near 50-year lows and the economy continuing to add hundreds of thousands of jobs month after month. The strength of the labor market has boosted consumer sentiment and consumer spending, keeping the pace of economic growth stronger than in many of the other major economies around the world. The coronavirus is widely expected to slow economic growth this year, although the impact may be short-lived if the outbreak is contained or fizzles out after a few months. The Labor Department said there was no sign that the outbreak had hurt employment in February. The strength of the labor market, however, may bolster the economy’s ability to withstand the pressure.
Wow!! More great news in this Trump economy!! 🙂
The U.S. economy added 225,000 jobs in January and the unemployment rate ticked up to 3.6. Economists had expected the economy to add 160,000 jobs. December’s figure was revised up from 145,000 to 147,000. The unemployment rate edged up because the labor force participation rate increased, meaning the strong labor market drew more people into the workforce. The participation rate rose to 63.4 percent in January, the best rate since the last recession. The employment to population ratio for prime age workers rose to 80.6 percent, the highest since 2001. The Department of Labor said that notable job gains occurred in construction, in health care, and in transportation and warehousing. Construction employment was up by 44,000, which likely reflected the unusually warm weather in much of the country during the month. Manufacturing remained in slump territory, losing 12,000 positions for the month and remaining essentially unchanged year over year. Average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 7 cents to $28.44. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 3.1 percent.
Wow!! More great news in this Trump economy!! 🙂