Lucia Mutikani
Lucia Mutikani
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U.S. labor market losing steam as COVID-19 rages

U.S. labor market losing steam as COVID-19 rages

By WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The number of Americans filing first-time claims for jobless benefits rose last week, likely as new business restrictions to control spiraling COVID-19 infections unleashed a fresh wave of layoffs, which could further slow the labor market recovery.The weekly unemployment claims report from the Labor Department on Thursday, the most timely data on the economy’s health, also showed at least 20.3 million people on unemployment benefits at the end of October, threatening the recovery from the worst recession since the Great Depression.About 12 million people will lose...

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Lucia Mutikani
Nov 19
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U.S. weekly jobless claims rise; COVID-19 surge seen slowing labor market healing

U.S. weekly jobless claims rise; COVID-19 surge seen slowing labor market healing

By WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The number of Americans filing first-time claims for jobless benefits unexpectedly rose last week, likely as new business restrictions to control spiraling COVID-19 infections unleashed a fresh wave of layoffs, which could further slow the labor market recovery.The weekly unemployment claims report from the Labor Department on Thursday, the most timely data on the economy’s health, also showed at least 20.3 million people on unemployment benefits at the end of October, seven months after the pandemic started in the United States.Millions will lose benefits next...

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Lucia Mutikani
Nov 19
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U.S. retail sales slow as pandemic, lack of fiscal stimulus weigh

U.S. retail sales slow as pandemic, lack of fiscal stimulus weigh

By WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. retail sales increased less than expected in October and could slow further, restrained by spiraling new COVID-19 infections and declining household income as millions of unemployed Americans lose government financial support.While other data on Tuesday showed production at factories accelerating in October, output remained well below its pre-pandemic level and the uncontrolled coronavirus outbreak could disrupt production. The public health crisis and frail economy are major challenges confronting President-elect Joe Biden when he takes over from President...

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Lucia Mutikani
Nov 17
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Smallest job gains in five months expected as U.S. labor market momentum wanes

Smallest job gains in five months expected as U.S. labor market momentum wanes

By WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. employers likely hired the fewest workers in five months in October, in what would be clearest indication yet that the end of fiscal stimulus and exploding new COVID-19 infections were sapping momentum from the economic recovery.The Labor Department’s closely watched employment report on Friday will underscore the challenges the next president, whether it is incumbent Republican Donald Trump or Democrat Joe Biden, confronts to keep the economy growing as it heals from the deepest recession since the Great Depression.Biden inched closer to victory on Thursday...

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Lucia Mutikani
Nov 6
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U.S. employment, services industry data point to slowing economic recovery

U.S. employment, services industry data point to slowing economic recovery

By WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. private payrolls increased less than expected in October and activity in the services industry cooled, providing early signs of a slowdown in economic growth as fiscal stimulus diminishes and new COVID-19 infections surge across the country.The recovery from the coronavirus pandemic could also be impacted over the next few months by political uncertainty following Tuesday’s cliffhanger presidential election, which economists warned could cause businesses to be more cautious about spending decisions.The election hung in the balance on Wednesday, with a handful...

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Lucia Mutikani
Nov 4
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U.S. job growth slows in September; permanent unemployment increasing

U.S. job growth slows in September; permanent unemployment increasing

By WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. job growth slowed more than expected in September and the ranks of the permanently unemployed swelled, underscoring an urgent need for additional fiscal stimulus as the COVID-19 pandemic drags on and threatens the economy’s recovery.The Labor Department’s closely watched employment report on Friday was the last before the fiercely contested Nov. 3 presidential election for which the economic scarring from the pandemic has been a top issue.Republican President Donald Trump, who said on Friday he had tested positive for coronavirus, is likely to tout the fifth...

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Lucia Mutikani
Oct 2
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U.S. labor market slowing as fiscal stimulus fades

U.S. labor market slowing as fiscal stimulus fades

By WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly increased last week, supporting views the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic was running out of steam amid diminishing government funding.The weekly jobless claims report from the Labor Department on Thursday, the most timely data on the economy’s health, also showed 26 million people were on unemployment benefits in early September. The faltering labor market recovery and a recent rise in new coronavirus infections has piled pressure on Congress and the White House to come...

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Lucia Mutikani
Sep 24
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U.S. existing home sales approach 14-year high; prices scale record peak

U.S. existing home sales approach 14-year high; prices scale record peak

By WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. home sales surged to their highest level in nearly 14 years in August as the housing market continued to outperform the overall economy, but record high home prices could squeeze first-time buyers out of the market.The report from the National Association of Realtors confirmed home sales had recovered after slumping when the economy almost ground to a halt as businesses were shuttered in mid-March in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.Demand for housing is being fueled by record-low mortgage rates and a pandemic-fueled migration to suburbs and...

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Lucia Mutikani
Sep 22
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COVID-19 sinks U.S. economy in second quarter; labor market struggling

COVID-19 sinks U.S. economy in second quarter; labor market struggling

United States WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. economy contracted at its steepest pace since the Great Depression in the second quarter as the COVID-19 pandemic shattered consumer and business spending, and a nascent recovery is under threat from a resurgence in new cases of coronavirus. The bulk of the historic plunge in gross domestic product reported by the Commerce Department on Thursday occurred in April when activity almost ground to an abrupt halt after restaurants, bars and factories among others were shuttered in mid-March to slow the spread of coronavirus. The collapse in GDP and...

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Lucia Mutikani
Jul 30
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U.S. new home sales shine in June; business activity picks up

U.S. new home sales shine in June; business activity picks up

United States WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Sales of new U.S. single-family homes raced to a near 13-year high in June as the housing market outperforms the broader economy amid record low interest rates and migration from urban centers to lower-density areas because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The upbeat report from the Commerce Department on Friday followed on the heels of data this month showing a surge in homebuilder confidence in July, and an acceleration in home construction and sales of previously owned houses in June. The coronavirus crisis has led companies to allow employees to work from...

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Lucia Mutikani
Jul 24
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U.S. manufacturing snaps back; resurgence in COVID-19 cases seen slowing momentum

U.S. manufacturing snaps back; resurgence in COVID-19 cases seen slowing momentum

United States WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. factory output rose by the most in more than 74 years in June as motor vehicle production accelerated amid the reopening of businesses, but the nascent recovery in manufacturing activity was overshadowed by surging new COVID-19 infections. That was underscored by other data Wednesday showing factory activity in New York state rising in July, though manufacturers were less optimistic about business conditions over the next six months. Businesses have resumed operations after being shuttered in mid-March in an effort to slow the spread of the...

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Lucia Mutikani
Jul 15
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U.S. labor market improvement stalling; second wave of layoffs seen

U.S. labor market improvement stalling; second wave of layoffs seen

United States WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell last week, but the pace of decline has stalled amid a second wave of layoffs as companies battle weak demand and fractured supply chains, supporting views that the economy faces a long and difficult recovery from the COVID-19 recession. The Labor Department’s weekly jobless claims report on Thursday, the most timely data on the economy’s health, sketched a picture of a distressed labor market even though employers hired a record 2.5 million workers in May as businesses reopened after...

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Lucia Mutikani
Jun 18
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U.S. layoffs ease in April; hiring slumps to record low

U.S. layoffs ease in April; hiring slumps to record low

United States WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Layoffs in the United States fell in April, but remained the second highest on record, while hiring hit an all-time low, suggesting the labor market could take years to recover from the COVID-19 crisis despite a surprise rebound in employment in May. The report from the Labor Department on Tuesday also showed a decline in job openings as the economy battles a recession triggered by the pandemic. The National Bureau of Economic Research, the arbiter of U.S. recessions, declared on Monday that the economy slipped into recession in February. “We may...

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Lucia Mutikani
Jun 9
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U.S. weekly jobless claims seen declining further, but millions still unemployed

U.S. weekly jobless claims seen declining further, but millions still unemployed

United States WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Layoffs in the United States are abating, but millions who lost their jobs because of COVID-19 continue to draw unemployment benefits, suggesting the labor market could take years to heal from the pandemic even as businesses resume hiring workers. The weekly jobless claims report from the Labor Department on Thursday, the most timely data on the economy’s health, will follow news last Friday of a surprise 2.5 million increase in nonfarm payrolls in May. It could reinforce views that the labor market has weathered the worst of the turbulence. The Federal...

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Lucia Mutikani
Jun 11
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Coronavirus sinks U.S. consumer spending; savings hit record high

Coronavirus sinks U.S. consumer spending; savings hit record high

United States WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. consumers cut spending by the most on record for the second straight month in April while boosting savings to an all-time high, and the growing frugality reinforced expectations the economy could take years to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The report from the Commerce Department on Friday also showed an economy highly reliant on the government, with financial aid checks from a historic fiscal package worth nearly $3 trillion driving a record surge in personal income. Together with news that monthly exports collapsed, the report left economists...

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Lucia Mutikani
May 29
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Coronavirus crisis leads to largest U.S. consumer price decline since 2008

Coronavirus crisis leads to largest U.S. consumer price decline since 2008

United States WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. consumer prices dropped by the most since the Great Recession in April, weighed down by a plunge in demand for gasoline and services including airline travel as Americans stayed home during the coronavirus crisis. The report from the Labor Department on Tuesday also showed a record decrease in underlying prices last month, raising the specter of a bout of deflation as the economy sinks deeper into a recession triggered by lockdowns to slow the spread of COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus. The government reported last Friday...

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Lucia Mutikani
May 12
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Great Depression-like U.S. job losses, unemployment rate expected in April

Great Depression-like U.S. job losses, unemployment rate expected in April

United States WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. economy likely lost a staggering 22 million jobs in April, in what would be the steepest plunge in payrolls since the Great Depression and the starkest sign yet of how the novel coronavirus pandemic is battering the world’s biggest economy. A report that is closely watched in any given month but especially so now with non-essential businesses in mandatory shutdowns nationwide to contain the coronavirus, the Labor Department’s monthly employment report on Friday is also expected to show the jobless rate surging to at least 16% last month. That...

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Lucia Mutikani
May 8
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Coronavirus deals U.S. job losses of 20.5 million, historic unemployment rate in April

Coronavirus deals U.S. job losses of 20.5 million, historic unemployment rate in April

India WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. economy lost a staggering 20.5 million jobs in April, the steepest plunge in payrolls since the Great Depression and the starkest sign yet of how the novel coronavirus pandemic is battering the world’s biggest economy. The Labor Department’s closely watched monthly employment report on Friday also showed the unemployment rate surging to 14.7% last month, shattering the post-World War Two record of 10.8% touched in November 1982. The bleak numbers strengthen analysts’ expectations of a slow recovery from the recession caused by the pandemic, adding to a...

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Lucia Mutikani
May 8
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Millions of Americans continue to seek jobless benefits; consumer spending tanks

Millions of Americans continue to seek jobless benefits; consumer spending tanks

United States WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Millions more Americans filed claims for unemployment benefits last week, suggesting that layoffs were spreading to industries that were not initially directly impacted by business closures and disruptions related to the coronavirus. Other data on Thursday showed a record collapse in consumer spending in March as the economy reels from nationwide lockdowns to slow the spread of COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the virus. The reports came on the heels of news on Wednesday that the economy suffered its sharpest contraction since the Great...

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Lucia Mutikani
Apr 30
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Record U.S. jobless claims wipe out post-Great Recession employment gains

Record U.S. jobless claims wipe out post-Great Recession employment gains

United States WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A record 26 million Americans likely sought unemployment benefits over the last five weeks, confirming that all the jobs created during the longest employment boom in U.S. history were wiped out in about a month as the novel coronavirus savages the economy. Thursday’s weekly jobless claims report from the Labor Department will add to a growing pile of increasingly bleak economic data. It will come amid rising protests against nationwide lockdowns to control the spread of COVID-19, the potentially lethal respiratory illness caused by the virus. President...

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Lucia Mutikani
Apr 23
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Millions unemployed, homebuilding collapses as coronavirus ravages U.S. economy

Millions unemployed, homebuilding collapses as coronavirus ravages U.S. economy

United States WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A record 22 million Americans have sought unemployment benefits over the past month, with millions more filing claims last week, almost wiping out all the job gains since the Great Recession and underscoring the toll on the economy from extraordinary measures to control the novel coronavirus outbreak. The deepening economic slump was also amplified by other data on Thursday showing manufacturing activity in the mid-Atlantic region plunged to levels last seen in 1980 and homebuilding tumbling by the most in 36 years in March. The reports followed dismal...

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Lucia Mutikani
Apr 16
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U.S. weekly jobless claims seen underscoring deepening economic slump

U.S. weekly jobless claims seen underscoring deepening economic slump

United States WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Millions more Americans likely sought unemployment benefits last week, lifting total filings for claims over the past month above an astounding 20 million, which would underscore the deepening economic slump caused by the novel coronavirus outbreak. Thursday’s weekly jobless claims report from the Labor Department will follow dismal data on Wednesday showing a record drop in retail sales in March and the biggest decline in factory output since 1946. Economists are predicting the economy, which they believe is already in recession, contracted in the first...

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Lucia Mutikani
Apr 16
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U.S. consumer prices post largest drop in five years amid coronavirus disruptions

U.S. consumer prices post largest drop in five years amid coronavirus disruptions

United States WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. consumer prices fell by the most in more than five years in March and further decreases are likely as the novel coronavirus outbreak suppresses demand for some goods and services, offsetting price increases related to shortages resulting from disruptions to the supply chain. With the country virtually at a stand-still, the economy rapidly contracting and millions unemployed as state and local governments adopt stiff measures to control the spread of COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus, economists are predicting the...

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Lucia Mutikani
Apr 10
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