Roadblocks in the American recovery

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The American economy is continuing to show signs of struggle, and many economists are becoming increasingly anxious about the months ahead, said the New York Times.
After lockdowns squelched businesses and left tens of millions of people unemployed in the spring, the economy began to bounce back in May and June, but then gradually lost steam this summer. The slump is leaving experts uneasy, as is an uptick in infections and fears of a second wave this fall.
And there’s another bad omen: a fresh round of corporate layoffs. Companies including Disney, the insurance giant Allstate, and United and American airlines announced in recent days that they were firing or furloughing more than 60,000 workers. Separately, the Labor Department reported that 787,000 Americans had applied for unemployment benefits last week. While that number is slightly less than the previous week, it continues to reflect the highest level of unemployment in decades.
These new layoffs, experts say, signal anxiety around the uncertainty of further relief, and more jobs are predicted to be lost if Congress cannot agree on a new stimulus package. Last-ditch negotiations between the White House and congressional Democrats continue, but so far a deal has remained elusive.
Still, the American economy is not all doom and gloom.
Personal spending was up 1 percent, consumer confidence is on the rise, and the housing market in some parts of the country is booming, helped by low mortgage rates. And our economics reporter Ben Casselman says the Labor Department is expected to report tomorrow that 850,000 people were hired in August. If true, it would mean the economy has recovered just over half of the more than 22 million jobs lost at the height of the pandemic in the spring.

Source: The New York Times

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