The Times Herald (Norristown, PA) : 2020-09-25



BUSINESS A6 » timesheral­ Friday, September 25, 2020 » FACEBOOK.COM/TIMESHERAL­DPA TWITTER.COM/TIMESHERAL­DPA MORE AT AND EMPLOYMENT Persistent jobless claims at 870,000 Fraud, backlogs cloud data program that provides 13 additional weeks of aid. This program, establishe­d in the economic relief package Congress passed earlier this year, is now paying benefits to 1.6 million people. Applicatio­ns for jobless aid soared in the spring after the viral outbreak suddenly shut down businesses across the country, which cost tens of millions of jobs and triggered a deep recession. Since then, as states have slowly reopened their economies, about half the jobs that were initially lost have been recovered. Yet job growth has been slowing, and unemployme­nt remains elevated at 8.4%. In most sectors of the economy, employers appear reluctant to hire new workers in the face of deep uncertaint­y about the course of the virus. Most economists say it will be hard for the job market or the economy to sustain a recovery unless Congress enacts another rescue package for individual­s, businesses and states. Ultimately, an effective vaccine will likely be needed for the economy to fully regain its health. months after it first erupted. The figure coincides with evidence that some newly laid-off Americans are facing delays in receiving unemployme­nt benefits as state agencies intensify efforts to combat fraudulent applicatio­ns and clear their pipelines of a backlog of jobless claims. California has said it will stop processing new applicatio­ns for two weeks as it seeks to reduce backlogs and prevent fraudulent claims. Pennsylvan­ia has found that up to 10,000 inmates are improperly receiving aid. The Labor Department said Thursday that the number of people who are continuing to receive unemployme­nt benefits declined to 12.6 million. The steady decline in that figure over the past several months reflects that some of the unemployed are being re-hired. Yet it also indicates that others have exhausted their regular jobless aid, which last six months in most states. In addition to those receiving aid on state programs, about 105,000 others were added last week to an extended jobless-benefits By Christophe­r Rugaber and Maryclaire Dale The Associated Press The number of people seeking U.S. unemployme­nt aid rose slightly last week to 870,000, a historical­ly high figure that shows that the viral pandemic is still squeezing restaurant­s, airlines, hotels and many other businesses six WASHINGTON » JOBS » PAGE 7 WINE CRISIS NOAH BERGER — THE ASSOCIATED PRESS FILE A plume rises over a vineyard in unincorpor­ated Napa County as the Hennessey Fire burns last week. Smoke from the West Coast wildfires has tainted grapes in some of the nation’s most celebrated wine regions. The resulting ashy flavor could spell disaster for the 2020 vintage. ERIC RISBERG — THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Grapes with ash on them hang in a vineyard that was blanketed by smoke from wildfires in Sonoma. MARK LENIHAN — THE ASSOCIATED PRESS FILE PHOTO Pedestrian­s pass a store window for luxury brand Louis Vuitton in New York. There are plenty of designer and luxury brands on the market, and in part because of Instagram’s fashion bloggers and influencer­s, they’re all the rage.

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