White House Says Most Coronavirus Job Losses Likely to Be Temporary
By Paul Kiernan
WASHINGTON -- Four-fifths of the increase in unemployment
between February and May was likely temporary, the Trump
administration estimated Thursday in a report that said relief
spending significantly reduced the economic pain caused by the
The number of unemployed Americans rose from 5.8 million in
February to more than 23 million in April, as large swaths of the
economy were shut down to slow the novel coronavirus' spread. The
jobless rate was 10.2% in July, with 16.3 million people out of
The report from the White House Council of Economic Advisers
said the Paycheck Protection Program, designed to keep workers
attached to their jobs, helped avert a wave of small-business
bankruptcies. As a result, 82% of the increase in joblessness is
likely to be temporary rather than permanent, it said.
In addition, direct payments to households and enhanced
unemployment benefits lifted the incomes of the lowest-earning
workers, the CEA said.
The report comes as the Trump administration and Senate
Republicans remain at an impasse with House Democrats over the
amount of additional support for the economy.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
(D., Calif.) traded barbs this week, accusing each other of
refusing to compromise on legislation to make unemployment benefits
more generous, keep people in their homes and shore up the finances
of state and local governments.
Write to Paul Kiernan at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
August 13, 2020 12:29 ET (16:29 GMT)
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