As the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread in the United States, one of the world's largest economy is once again being threatened with another surge of infections as the U.S. records 742,000 new unemployment claims as of the second week of November.
The surge in jobless cases comes as U.S. lawmakers have yet to reach an agreement and pass a stimulus bill to alleviate economic distress.
The measures, including unemployment benefits, loans for a small business that have helped the economy thrive through the pandemic's early hit, have yet to return upon the different parties' agreement.
According to AFP, the Labor Department had stated on Thursday that aside from the 742,000 seasonally adjusted new claims, there are also 320,237 claims made separately in a program intended for workers who were not eligible for the jobless claims.
The data, which was worse than what was anticipated, marked the 35th straight week that unemployment claims have gone over the worst week of the 2008-2010 global financial crisis. Analysts have expressed their fear that this increase is only the beginning of a worse blow to the economy.
In a statement, Navy Federal Credit Union's Robert Frick said that with the pandemic's trajectory, the U.S. might be stuck with at least one million Americans claiming benefits every week.
"We'll be lucky if that level doesn't rise by 100,000 to 200,000 additional claims per week," he added.
The U.S. has seen the world's largest coronavirus outbreak, and it continues to accelerate in recent weeks.
Before Wednesday, 157,950 new coronavirus cases were reported, and the death toll in the whole country reached more than 250,000.
Meanwhile, evidence suggests that employers are also feeling the rise of cases.
On Thursday, United Airlines stated that more travelers have declined to make new bookings and canceled their travel plans. The airline said they are already projecting at least a 55 percent loss in total capacity for the fourth quarter compared to last year, Reuters reported.
The aviation industry has largely struggled in light of the pandemic as people become wary of traveling amid the pandemic. United Airlines has stated that they are continuing to feel a huge impact on the demand for air travel.
The company stated that they are not expecting things to recover on their end sooner.
Carriers, including United Airlines, have also counted on the stimulus provisions of the CARES Act that was passed back in March. However, as a new stimulus package has yet to be passed, they were forced to lay off more than 32,000 workers since no relief aid was enacted, IBT reported.
Amid the struggles faced by the economy, Democrats and Republicans in Congress are still unable to agree on how much would be intended for the stimulus package and how it would be spent.
With the holidays approaching, many unemployed Americans are still counting on Congress to finally pass on a stimulus bill that could help ordinary Americans and help the economy.