The stubbornly high rate of new weekly claims more than four months into the pandemic “suggests that the nature of the downturn has changed from early on,” said Ernie Tedeschi, a policy economist at Evercore ISI. It may mean that businesses are shutting down again as cases surge in some places, or that funds from emergency small business loans through the Paycheck Protection Program are running out, he said — or worse, something more fundamental.
“It might be that businesses are running through their first line of credit,” he said, “and now they’re facing the music of an economy that has recovered a little bit but not nearly enough.”
During the worst of the Great Recession in 2008-9, the weekly number of claims never exceeded 700,000. Since mid-March, new state unemployment applications have yet to fall below a million.
Congressional lawmakers and the White House are negotiating a roughly $1 trillion relief package that would include extending some benefits for unemployed workers.
NEW YORK ROUNDUP
New York’s governor again warns about infections among younger people.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York again warned on Thursday of rising cases among younger people. Though most of the state’s cases were being diagnosed in older residents, the share of those found in 21- to 30-year-olds increased to 13.2 percent from 9.9 percent over the last two weeks, he said. The U.S. outbreak has more recently seen an increase in people in their 20s, 30s and 40s who are testing positive.
The governor attributed the state’s spike in part to the number of younger people gathering to socialize, including attending parties and drinking at restaurants and bars. On Tuesday, the state’s liquor authority issued new guidance requiring bars and restaurants to serve “a substantial item” with alcohol — not a bag of chips or pretzels, as some establishments had been doing.
“This is not the time to fight for your right to party,” Mr. Cuomo said.
Elsewhere in New York:
In New York City, the mayor said Thursday that eight public swimming pools are scheduled to open Friday, with seven more next week. There will be social distancing measures to prevent overcrowding in locker rooms and to ensure visitors are wearing face coverings when not inside the pool.
More than 6,000 people have died of the virus in nursing homes and other long-term facilities across the state. That death toll surpasses the number of fatalities in several states, and the governor has faced heated attacks from Republicans in Washington and elsewhere over his response to the crisis. The tension and pain surrounding the issue bled into the debate over a related bill that was passed on Thursday by the Legislature.
Reporting was contributed by Peter Baker, Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs, Julia Calderone, Emily Cochrane, Patricia Cohen, Keith Collins, Matthew Conlen, Michael Cooper, Julia Echikson, Nicholas Fandos, Manny Fernandez, Luis Ferré-Sadurní, Gillian Friedman, Lazaro Gamio, Kit Gillet, Michael Gold, Joseph Goldstein, Matthew Goldstein, J. David Goodman, Maggie Haberman, Christine Hauser, Josh Keller, Juliana Kim, Tyler Kepner, Iliana Magra, Sapna Maheshwari, Patricia Mazzei, Giulia McDonnell Nieto del Rio, Jesse McKinley, Sarah Mervosh, Raphael Minder, Azi Paybarah, Katie Rogers, Eileen Sullivan, Jim Tankersley, Katie Thomas, Lucy Tompkins, Alexander Villegas, Daniel Victor, Neil Vigdor, James Wagner, David Waldstein, Allyson Waller, Katherine J. Wu, Elaine Yu and Jeanna Smialek.