Report: US Manufacturing Shows Improvement in July

Economic activity in the manufacturing sector grew in July, with the overall economy notching a third consecutive month of growth, according to a new report published by the Institute for Supply Management.

The Manufacturing ISM “Report on Business” calculated a July composite reading of 54.2 percent, a second straight month of growth for U.S. factories.

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Commentary: Will the Virus Ever Allow the U.S. Economy to Fully Reopen Again?

The U.S. economy contracted a record-setting, inflation-adjusted, annualized 32.9 percent in the second quarter of 2020 according to the latest data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis as tens of millions of Americans waited out the Chinese coronavirus in their homes, not venturing out much except for work and needed supplies.

The second quarter comprises of April, May and June, when in Bureau of Labor Statistics’ household survey 25 million jobs were lost by April and then 8.8 million came back in May and June as states slowly began reopening.

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US Sees Worst-Ever Contraction for Second-Quarter GDP

The United States gross domestic product (GDP) fell 32.9% in the second quarter of 2020, the Department of Commerce reported, marking the largest decline the country has ever seen, according to CNBC.

In addition to the record drop in GDP, The Department of Labor reported Thursday that over 1.43 million Americans filed initial claims for unemployment last week, marking a swift economic contraction as coronavirus cases continue to rise across the country.

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More Than 1.4 Million Americans File New Unemployment Claims

More than 1.4 million American workers filed new unemployment claims last week, an increase over the previous week as new restrictions are being put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 1.43 million workers filed new claims for unemployment benefits in the week ending July 25, up 12,000 from the week ending July 18. It was the second week in a row that new claims increased.

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Commentary: Michigan Is Already on Its Way to Full Economic Recovery

With the “v-shaped” economic recovery taking shape nationwide, Michigan has begun to bounce back from the artificial coronavirus downturn sooner than most of us dared to hope. 

Despite Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s excessively harsh stay-at-home orders, Michigan regained more than 460,000 nonfarm jobs since the start of May, reducing the unemployment rate by almost a whopping 10 percentage points. Blue collar industries that provide the lifeblood for Michigan’s middle class, such as construction and manufacturing, are doing particularly well — those two sectors alone created more than 180,000 new jobs in May, no doubt fueled in part by the President’s focus on ramping up domestic production of medical supplies needed to confront the invisible enemy.

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Unemployment Claims Rise for the First Time Since March to 1.4 Million

The Department of Labor reported Thursday that over 1.4 million Americans filed additional claims for unemployment last week, marking the first weekly increase in claims since March.

The number of Americans filing for unemployment had been declining each week before mid-July, but the Thursday report marks the 18th week in a row that unemployment claims have been above one million, CNBC reported.

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Weekly Jobless Claims Lower Than Expected at 1.3 Million

Jobless claims for the past week were lower than economists had predicted as workers begin returning to their jobs, according to data from the Labor Department shows.

The total number for jobless claims for the week ending in July 4 was 1.3 million, according to the Labor Department data, which is 99,000 fewer claims than the previous week. Economists surveyed by Down Jones had predicted 1.39 million jobless claims, according to CNBC.

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June Jobs Report: 4.8 Million Jobs Added, Unemployment at 11.1 Percent

The U.S. added 4.8 million jobs in June, while the unemployment declined to 11.1%, according to Department of Labor data released Thursday.

Total non-farm payroll employment rose by 4.8 million in June, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics report, and the number of unemployed persons fell by 3.2 million to 17.8 million. These numbers mark the second month of both increasing jobs and dropping unemployment since the country lost a record 20.5 million jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic closures.

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US Consumer Spending Up 8.2 Percent, Partly Erasing Record Plunge

American consumers increased their spending by a record 8.2% in May, partly erasing huge plunges the previous two months, against the backdrop of an economy that’s likely shrinking by its steepest pace on record this quarter.

Last month’s rebound in consumer spending followed record spending drops of 6.6% in March and 12.6% in April, when the viral pandemic shuttered businesses, forced millions of layoffs and sent the economy into a recession. Since then, many businesses have reopened, drawing consumers back into shops and restaurants and restoring some lost jobs.

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1.5 Million Workers File New Unemployment Claims

More than 1.5 million American workers filed new unemployment claims last week, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, even as state restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19 are easing.

More than 45 million claims have been filed in the three months since state and local governments started restrictions that closed businesses deemed nonessential, but millions of those workers have since gone back to work as states began reopening their economies.

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1.5 Million More Laid-off Workers Seek Unemployment Benefits

About 1.5 million laid-off workers applied for U.S. unemployment benefits last week, evidence that many Americans are still losing their jobs even as the economy appears to be slowly recovering with more businesses partially reopening.

The latest figure from the Labor Department marked the 10th straight weekly decline in applications for jobless aid since they peaked in mid-March when the coronavirus hit hard. Still, the pace of layoffs remains historically high.

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Commentary: President Trump’s Reelection Odds Will Improve in the Coming Months as America Reopens

The U.S. economy created over 3.8 million jobs in May in the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ household survey, and 2.5 million in its establishment survey, heralding the bottom of labor markets in April.

How do we know April was the bottom? Unless we’re anticipating losing 3.8 million jobs in June when America is reopening, barring a resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic, when the momentum is moving precisely in the opposite direction, the likelihood is that June, July and August will only add to what has already been gained.

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Government Job Losses Are Piling Up, and It Could Get Worse

Jobs with state and city governments are usually a source of stability in the U.S. economy, but the financial devastation wrought by the coronavirus pandemic has forced cuts that will reduce public services — from schools to trash pickup.

Even as the U.S. added some jobs in May, the number of people employed by federal, state and local governments dropped by 585,000. The overall job losses among public workers have reached more than 1.5 million since March, according to seasonally adjusted federal jobs data released Friday. The number of government employees is now the lowest it’s been since 2001, and most of the cuts are at the local level.

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May Jobs Report: 2.5 Million Jobs Gained, Unemployment Falls to 13.3 Percent

The U.S. economy gained 2.5 million jobs in May, while the unemployment declined to 13.3%, according to Department of Labor data released Friday.

Total non-farm payroll employment rose by 2.5 million in May, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics report, and the number of unemployed persons fell by 2.1 million to 21.0 million.

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New U.S. Unemployment Claims Drop Below 2 Million, but Total Claims Top 42 Million

The number of new unemployment claims filed last week dropped to 1.88 million, the first time weekly claims didn’t exceed 2 million since mid-March.

Still, the total number of claims filed since government restrictions closed businesses deemed nonessential to slow the spread of COVID-19 surpassed 42 million in the 11 weeks since states began shutting down significant parts of their economy.

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U.S. Unemployment Claims Top 40 Million Since March

More than 40 million Americans have filed unemployment claims since mid-March, when state governments across the U.S. began restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19, including closing businesses deemed nonessential.

Last week, an additional 2.12 million workers filed claims, according to U.S. Department of Labor data released Thursday, the 10 consecutive week in which new jobless claims were in the millions. The 2.12 million claims from the week ending July 23 is down 323,000 from the 2.44 million workers who filed for benefits in the week ending May 16 and is the lowest number of new claims since the week ending March 15.

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Commentary: Let America Work Again

It was Monday morning on March 10, 2019, when Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 lurched away from the gate, rolled to a sprint, and peeled its wheels off the runway for the last time. Aboard, 157 souls including eight Americans and one veteran on vacation doing missionary work, were flying.

Six minutes after takeoff, Flight 302 plunged back to earth, trailing white smoke across the sky until reaching its terminus near Bishoftu, Ethiopia. All aboard perished when the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft screamed into the ground at nearly 700 miles per hour, leaving a massive crater with wreckage driven up to 30 feet deep into the soil.

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Commentary: Can the Economy Withstand a Second Round of COVID-19?

Some 100 million people in China are now back in lockdown as fears of a second wave surge. Now that the US and the rest of the world is opening up, the probability of infection will most likely go up, as will the number of infections. What does that mean for the economy?

First, uncertainty and fear of another lockdown will negatively influence business decisions and overall economic recovery. Even if your business survived the first wave, would you be willing to go all in, invest, rehire people, renew leases, etc., if you think you will be shut down in the autumn?

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Commentary: America’s Youth Experience a Great Awakening, Coronavirus-Style

The Great Awakening.

History books tell us “The Great Awakening” was (according to Wikipedia), “The First Great Awakening (sometimes Great Awakening) or the Evangelical Revival was a series of Christian revivals that swept Britain and its Thirteen Colonies between the 1730s and 1740s. The revival movement permanently affected Protestantism as adherents strove to renew individual piety and religious devotion. The Great Awakening marked the emergence of Anglo-American evangelicalism as a trans-denominational movement within the Protestant churches. In the United States, the term Great Awakening is most often used, while in the United Kingdom, it is referred to as the Evangelical Revival.”

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COVID-19 Unemployment Claims Approach 39 Million Since Mid-March

Even as much of the country eases restrictions and slowly begins to reopen state economies, new jobless claims continued their COVID-19 spike last week, increasing the total number of those filing for unemployment benefits to nearly 39 million since mid-March.

According to data released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Labor, an additional 2.44 million workers filed for benefits in the week ending May 16. That’s down 249,000 from the revised number of claims filed in the week ending May 9.

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Nearly Three Million New Unemployment Claims Drives Two-Month Total to More Than 36 Million

New jobless claims continued their COVID-19 surge last week, driving the total number of those filing for unemployment benefits to more than 36 million over the past two months.

Even as many states across the country began easing restrictions and slowly reopening their economies, 2.98 million Americans filed for new unemployment benefits for the week ending May 9, according to data released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Labor.

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Commentary: Slavery Did Not Make America Richer

In the past few decades, a new subfield of history has emerged: the history of capitalism. The subfield is widely popular in the media as a result of hugely influential books such as those of Sven Beckert and Edward Baptist. These two particular authors tie the “peculiar institution” of slavery in American history to capitalism. Many media pundits, as witnessed by recent articles in the New York Times and Vox, jumped on the works of these authors to claim that slavery was “the building block of the American economy” and it made America richer.

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