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Jobless claims still falling amid COVID, protests and presidential politics

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Jobless claims came in better than expected this week, indicating that the economy is continuing to pick up speed after a six-week coronavirus shutdown forced massive unemployment and historic stimulus measures.

“Claims for the week ended July 4 totaled 1.314 million, compared with the 1.39 million expected from economists surveyed by Dow Jones. The total marked a decrease of 99,000 from a week earlier, according to the Labor Department,” says CNBC.

More importantly, continuing claims went down more than expected, too, indicating that more businesses are opening back up after the initial post-lockdown rush of openings.

“Continuing claims fell sharply, dropping 698,000 from a week earlier to 18.06 million. The previous week’s total itself was revised down by 530,000. Wall Street had been expecting 18.9 million continuing claims, according to FactSet,” added CNBC.

It also eased Wall Street concerns that a surge of reported positive COVID tests would somehow test the strength of the recovery.

“JUST IN: U.S. jobless claims declined to 1.314 million, coming in below estimates for 1.375 million and easing concerns of a renewed downturn in the labor market after several large states reported a pickup in coronavirus cases,” tweeted Bloomberg Economics.

The stock markets have come roaring back off of March and April lows, with the tech-heavy NASDAQ composite setting a new all-time high even as the economy faces uncertainty due to COVID, protests and the presidential election.

This week, presumptive Democrat presidential nominee, Joe Biden, introduced his economic proposal called “Buy American.”

It essentially promises to restore the unfair trade deals that Trump canceled. In addition, it calls for the government to buy an additional $400 billion in U.S.-based goods and services while putting $300 billion into government research, says CNBC.

Liberals reacted to the news with glee because they say Biden cleverly is doing what Trump has already done and has been condemned for as being racist, namely: buying American.

“The liberal media is promoting Biden’s ‘Buy American’ plan,” tweeted Derek Utley.

“This should be an in-kind-contribution. Why? Because the media has criticized and vilified @realDonaldTrump for the same plan and actual real life implementation to buy American this whole time!”

The difference between Biden’s plan and Trump’s plan is that Biden will rely — just as Obama did with green energy — on a bunch of top-down investments in areas favored by Democrat donors, but not necessarily the most economically pressing areas.  

Trump’s approach favors getting rid of regulatory burdens that constraint markets in the U.S. and then let the free market decide which areas will gain the biggest advantage.    

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