- A report released Thursday by the White House Council of Economic Advisers said about 81% of coronavirus job losses were likely temporary.
- The report said the historic policy actions from the federal government in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic “ameliorated a stark economic contraction while improving expectations for a recovery in 2021.”
- Specifically, the report highlighted the Paycheck Protection Program as one that helped stabilize the labor market.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
A majority of the jobs lost during the coronavirus pandemic and ensuing recession are likely only temporary, according to a Thursday report from the Trump administration.
The report from the White House Council of Economic Advisers said the historic policy actions of the federal government to provide aid to the economy amid the coronavirus pandemic “ameliorated a stark economic contraction while improving expectations for a recovery in 2021.”
In particular, an estimated 80.6% of layoffs because of the pandemic are likely temporary, according to the report.
The number of unemployed Americans skyrocketed from 5.8 million in February to more than 23 million in April as the US grappled with the coronavirus pandemic and sweeping shutdowns to contain the disease. In July, the number of unemployed ticked down to 16.3 million, but the unemployment rate remains elevated at 10.2%.
The temporary nature of the job losses is partly because of the Paycheck Protection Program, which was designed to help small and medium-size businesses keep workers employed. The program helped stabilize the labor market and likely averted a rush of small-business bankruptcies, the report said.
The report also said direct payments to American households and the expanded unemployment benefits from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act helped cushion incomes, especially for the lowest-earning households.
The report comes as government leaders remain deadlocked in a debate over the next coronavirus stimulus package. While Democrats have pushed to extend the extra $600 weekly unemployment benefit, which expired in July, Republicans have proposed a lower amount.
Over the weekend, President Donald Trump signed an executive order to move forward with an extra $300 weekly unemployment benefit, with little immediate effect.
Talks between the two sides have not resumed, meaning they are unlikely to reach a deal by the end of the week. About 28 million Americans were claiming unemployment in all programs as of July 25, according to the latest figures from the Labor Department.
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