Unemployment rates decreased 10.5% in May, and over 2.5 million Americans have now gone back to work. This news comes as states have slowly begun reopening after the economic shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic. An AP article read, “The number of people applying for unemployment benefits has declined for nine straight weeks. And the total number of people receiving such aid has essentially leveled off.” While the new numbers appear somewhat promising, some economists predict unemployment rates could remain in the double digits through November. Others, however, believe we could see a drastic surge of rehires and a decrease to single digit unemployment rates by the end of the year. Either way, both sides believe it will be a slow recovery process.
“Republicans just hate helping the unemployed, hate aiding states, in fact hate any kind of disaster response other than tax cuts. And the uptick in jobs gives them an excuse to indulge their hatred.” – Paul KrugmanPaul Krugman
A Slate reporter noted that if the government allows unemployment benefits to run out, as they are currently set to do at the end of July, it could further set back the economy and devastate American households.
The Right believes that despite encouraging numbers, Congress and the Trump Administration need to continue to focus on policies that would safely get the American people back to work. Washington Examiner commentary writer Tiana Lowe said that lawmakers should deny the proposed unemployment benefit package extension, noting that it would continue to encourage unemployment and deter people from returning to work. Many have agreed that while the original, temporary unemployment package was needed, to continue it indefinitely would hurt the economic recovery process.