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Don’t cut off all Biden’s stimulus while Delta rages: Obama’s previous chief economist

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  • The July jobs data was “probably the best jobs report” Jason Furman has ever seen.
  • That’s why the time is not right to withdraw stimulus assist, the previous Obama economist told Insider.
  • He favors providing unemployment assistance to temporary and unemployed workers final September.

The economy added 943,000 jobs in July, smashing previous forecasts and underlining the strength of the recovery from the pandemic.

Experts note that key measures of economic health have moved in the right direction: The unemployment rate has fallen, particularly among black and Hispanic workers. Wages rose while the lengthy-term unemployment rate fell.

“This is probably the best jobs report I’ve seen,” Jason Furman, previous chief economist for President Barack Obama, said in an interview.

However, Foreman acknowledged that the US economy is still 7.5 million jobs below pre-pandemic levels, and that the delta type of coronavirus threatens to hamper the recovery especially if unused restrictions are needed again. Daily infection rates are on the rise, while hospitalization is on the rise.

The economy needs more time to recover, and the epidemic simply isn’t over. Even at its current brisk pace, it is on track to regain every job lost in the pandemic by the end of next year, as Insider’s Ben Wink and Andy Kerrs report.

A recent report from the left-leaning Century Foundation indicated that 7.5 million people will lose all unemployment benefits in just one month. The individuals most affected will be temporary job workers and the lengthy-term unemployed, two groups that will not be eligible for state unemployment insurance once federal support is cut off.

These programs have been renewed through September 6 under President Joe Biden’s stimulus bill earlier this year. Furman argues that it is not yet time to withdraw all emergency federal support because cases related to variables are being explored.

Jason Furman

Jason Furman is Professor of Economic Policy Practice at Harvard University and a previous advisor to President Barack Obama.

Harvard university

“Given the outbreak, I’m going to find people in the extra weeks and aid with pandemic unemployment,” Furman, now a Harvard University professor, said in an interview. “I would also seriously consider extending the programs and possibly making it contingent on the number of cases and the number of hospitalizations.”

When it comes to the $300 federal supplement, Foreman prefers cutting back or eliminating it entirely. He says that has prevented people from returning to work.

“I think some thoughtful extension of some of the provisions would make a lot of sense given our place in the pandemic,” he told Insider. “But it shouldn’t be anything like what we had in January when 3,000 people were dying a day.”

It is unclear whether the programs will eventually be extended. Senate Democrats are in beforetime discussions about what to put into their $3.5 trillion spending package. They are willing to agree to it in reconciliation, a process that requires all 50 Democratic senators to stick to the Senate liquidation plan.

“User interface, we’ll probably be talking about some of it as part of the reconciliation bill,” Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Budget Committee that is drafting the bill, said Thursday. “I don’t see it likely that Congress will extend the boosted benefit, but I think there’s a reason we’re talking about additional weeks and temporary job workers.”


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