Sneak Peek at New Jobless Numbers

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Bankrate.com's senior economic analyst Mark Hamrick is out with the latest unemployment claims figures and July jobs report (They come out Thursday and Friday, respectively.) 

Here's his "pre-numbers" analysis . . . 

- This week, we get a look at the monthly employment report, which is really a snapshot taken in the first half of July. Both the household and establishment surveys are conducted around the 12 of the month. In the era of the pandemic, a few weeks can seem like an eternity.

- The consensus among economists suggests that the headline unemployment rate should decline from June’s 11.1%. If it were to slip to 10.5%, it would still remain above the Great Recession peak.

- The Labor Department has told us that about 30 million people were on some form of unemployment assistance in early July. But that doesn’t tell the complicated and often heartbreaking broader story. According to the Census Bureau’s Household Pulse survey, about half of all households in the U.S. have experienced a loss of employment income since mid-March. More than 10% said they didn’t have enough food in the previous week.

- As the nation experienced a resurgence in the COVID-19 outbreak, there has undoubtedly been an economic cost both because of restrictions in place and increased caution for consumers less enthusiastic about venturing back out in public. The cost to health and human lives is even more significant, of course.

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- The number of jobs added in July will likely be less robust than the 4.8 million added, or recovered, in June. Ultimately, as we’ve failed to win the battle against the virus, the economic rebound has become more precarious after the historic second-quarter GDP contraction. Adding an added thread of unwelcome uncertainty, elected officials in Washington have failed to agree on a fresh round of economic relief legislation.

- Ultimately, there’s reason to believe humankind will prevail in the war against COVID-19 with the eventual availability of safe and effective vaccines. It may well be, however, that repairing the economic damage will require a more prolonged effort.

Great stuff from Hamrick. You can follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/hamrickisms.