U.S. workers’ fear of contracting coronavirus while on the job has hit a pandemic low as the economy continues its steady recovery.
The number of Americans not working due to their fear of getting the virus while at their job dipped to 3.05 million by the end of June, according to the Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey released Wednesday. The figure hit its peak in July 2020 when 6.24 million unemployed Americans reported not looking for a job due to coronavirus fears, Axios reported.
“People are feeling safer about returning to work, which should help businesses staff-up to meet the tremendous demand we’re seeing right now,” Wells Fargo senior economist Sarah House told Axios.
The number of Americans filing new unemployment claims decreased to 411,000 last week as the economy continues to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Department of Labor.
The Bureau of Labor and Statistics figure released Thursday represented a decrease in the number of new jobless claims compared to the week ending June 12, when 418,000 new jobless claims were reported. That number was revised up from the 412,000 jobless claims initially reported last week.
Economists expected Thursday’s jobless claims number to come in around 380,000, The Wall Street Journal reported.
An $86 billion bailout for nearly 200 union pensions was included in the Democrats’ massive stimulus package, which President Joe Biden is expected to sign into law soon.
More than a million unionized truck drivers, retail clerks, construction workers and others would likely miss out on retirement income without the bailout, according to The New York Times. The union bailout, among the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package’s provisions unrelated to the pandemic, rescues 185 pension plans across several states.
“There’s more money in this to bailout [sic] union pension funds, than all the money combined for vaccine distribution and testing,” Republican Tennessee Sen. Bill Hagerty tweeted last week.
President Joe Biden’s administration and Democrats in Congress have vowed to press forward with the president’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package amid Republican objections to the bill’s size, even if they do so without any GOP votes.
Biden has argued that the relief package is not only popular among a majority of Americans but is also necessary to combat the economic toll imposed by the coronavirus pandemic. Though Biden campaigned on a message of unity and bipartisanship, his administration rejected a Republican pitch to split the plan into smaller pieces and has said that it must move quickly to pass the package even if it means doing so without Republicans’ help.
President Donald Trump on Friday signed the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, freeing up new money for workers, small businesses, hospitals and additional testing.