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On The Money: Record 6.6M file jobless claims as virus grips economy | Mnuchin says first relief checks going out within 'two weeks' | Economists fear slow testing will prolong recession

On The Money: Record 6.6M file jobless claims as virus grips economy | Mnuchin says first relief checks going out within 'two weeks' | Economists fear slow testing will prolong recession
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Happy Thursday and welcome back to On The Money. I'm Sylvan Lane, and here's your nightly guide to everything affecting your bills, bank account and bottom line.

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THE BIG DEAL--Record 6.6 million file jobless claims as coronavirus grips economy: 

An unprecedented 6.6 million people filed unemployment claims in the last week of March, meaning 10 million people have now filed for jobless claims since the coronavirus pandemic ripped through the country and shattered the economy.

  • A total of 6,648,000 people filed initial unemployment claims for the week ending March 28, more than double the roughly 3.3 million seasonally adjusted initial claims the previous week. 
  • Until that point, the highest level on record was 695,000 in October of 1982.

The shocking figures underscore the breadth of the pain to the economy caused by the coronavirus outbreak, which has shuttered thousands of businesses in the country as people practice social distancing guidelines. The Hill's Niv Elis has more here.

 

LEADING THE DAY

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Mnuchin says Social Security recipients will automatically get coronavirus checks: The Treasury Department said late Wednesday that Social Security recipients who typically don't file tax returns will automatically receive their coronavirus relief checks and will not have to file tax returns to receive their payments.

The announcement comes two days after the IRS released guidance that suggested Social Security beneficiaries would need to file what are known as simple tax returns to receive the money.

Mnuchin also said Thursday that the first coronavirus relief payments to Americans will be sent "within two weeks."

 

Economists fear slow pace of testing will prolong recession: Epidemiologists are warning that unless the federal government overhauls its pandemic response to ensure a national system for testing, the U.S. could find itself in a vicious cycle of sporadic lockdowns until scientists find a treatment or vaccine for the coronavirus.

A scenario like that would lessen the chances of a quick, V-shaped economic rebound that analysts are hoping for and instead prolong the recession and subsequent recovery, damaging household finances for years to come.

Niv Elis tells us why here.

 

GOOD TO KNOW