Trump tries to clean up comments about voting twice
US jobless claims drop to 880,000 but economic concerns remain
The number of people filing claims for unemployment benefits dropped sharply last week as the US labor department switched to a new method of counting weekly jobless claims figures.
For the week ending 29 August, 881,000 claims for benefits were filed, down from just over 1m the previous week. It was only the second time since the pandemic hit the US economy that claims had dipped below 1m.
However, last week the labor department announced it was switching its statistical model to better reflect the extraordinary number of unemployment claims made during the pandemic.
Government bodies routinely use “seasonal adjustments” to smooth out annually occurring events that can cause spikes in numbers, such as the January layoffs of retail workers hired for the holiday season. The unprecedented nature of the coronavirus has meant the old method of seasonal adjustments may have overstated the actual number of weekly unemployment claims.
While the fall in the latest claims numbers suggests firings are slowing, the job market remains deeply troubled. The labor department said the total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending August 15 was over 29 million, an increase of 2m from the previous week.
Cuomo and Trump trade barbs over threat to ‘defund’ New York
Facebook to restrict new political ads in the final week before elections
Facebook plans to flag any attempt by the Donald Trump campaign to declare a premature victory in the presidential race on the platform, the company announced Thursday.
The social media giant, which has come in for heavy criticism for failing to police foreign and domestic elections propaganda on its network, also said it would not accept any new political ads in the final week of the 2020 presidential race.
Facebook did not single out Trump in its announcement that it would label posts by any campaign that tries to declare victory before the final election results are in.
But Trump’s opponent, Joe Biden, has shown no intention of declaring premature victory and has never challenged the integrity of US elections, while Trump announced on the first day of the Republican national convention last week that any election that he did not win would be invalid.
“The only way they can take this election away from us is if this is a rigged election,” Trump told cheering Republican party officials at the convention.
Trailing badly in the polls, Trump has kept up a constant attack on the integrity of the upcoming presidential election for months, focusing on the expanded use during the coronavirus pandemic of mail-in voting.