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Hiring by U.S. employers accelerated sharply amid an improving public health outlook and a new round of $1,400 relief payments.
Meanwhile, the unemployment rate dipped to 6.2% last month as the winter wave of coronavirus infections eased.
Powell warned it will take time to put millions of jobless Americans back to work, while also downplaying inflation threats.
The Commerce Department says the U.S. economy grew just 1% in the last three months of the year, as a surge in coronavirus infections weighed on in-person businesses like restaurants.
As drug overdose deaths rise during the pandemic, a former White House economist says social isolation could be partly to blame.
Pent-up demand from households that have been cooped up over the last eight months could drive a spending boom in the spring, providing a big boost to the economy.
Many unemployed Americans have been tapping into their savings to pay bills. But those savings are going fast, and hopes for a new round of pandemic relief before the election are fading.
Fewer jobs were added to the economy last month even as the unemployment rate fell to 8.4%. Job growth has slowed since June in a sign of what could be a long and painful recovery from the recession.
The Federal Reserve is adjusting its long-range policy on inflation and employment. The central bank said it’s now more concerned with prices that are too low than with runaway inflation.
With lights out in many offices and millions of people plugging in at home, residential power bills are soaring, even as overall electricity consumption slumps during the recession.
Initial unemployment claims had been above 1 million for 20 straight weeks. The total receiving unemployment also dipped, to 28.3 million, as of July 25.
President Trump has directed the Treasury Department to stop collecting payroll taxes this fall in an effort to boost workers’ paychecks. But the move is temporary, and could spark headaches in 2021.
Millions of Americans who lost jobs during the pandemic are in danger of having their incomes cut for a second time. The sudden halt in payments would be felt in households and throughout the economy.
The federal deficit balloons as the government tries to cushion the blow from the coronavirus pandemic. June’s shortfall totals $864 billion — more than in an entire typical year.
The committee tasked with marking U.S. business cycles says the economy peaked in February and has since been in a recession triggered by the pandemic. But it says the recession could be short-lived.
The Labor Department says about 1.9 million people filed for unemployment last week, but there are some signs that people may be returning to their jobs.
The speed and scale of the economic crash have drawn comparisons to the Great Depression. But this downturn should be shorter, former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and other economic historians say.
The Federal Reserve is widely expected to cut interest rates by a quarter percentage point. That could give a lift to the stock market but may not do much to help the economy amid the trade war.
The Labor Department says U.S. employers added 130,000 jobs in August, fewer than private analysts had expected. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.7%.
The Trump administration pushed back hard against warnings of an economic slowdown. But the president is also calling on the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates again to help boost growth.
The Trump administration is postponing some tariffs on Chinese imports set to take effect on Sept.1. Tariffs on laptops, cellphones, some clothing and other items are now set to begin Dec. 15.
President Trump had been expected to nominate Tomas Philipson as permanent chair of his Council of Economic Advisers. Philipson, an expert on health economics, succeeds Kevin Hassett.
The Federal Reserve chairman is testifying before Congress this week about challenges the economy faces. Stocks rallied in anticipation the central bank will lower interest rates later this month.
Job growth rebounded strongly last month as employers added 224,000 jobs. That followed a disappointing May when employers added just 72,000 jobs.
There’s an unusual air of suspense surrounding the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting, with the possibility that the central bank could cut rates for the first time in nearly 11 years.