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Associated Press

US unemployment claims up to 965K amid virus surge

The number of people seeking unemployment aid soared last week to 965,000, the most since late August and a sign that the resurgent virus has likely escalated layoffs. (Jan. 14) October 18, 2006 -//IPTC//DTD NITF 3.4//EN The number of people seeking unemployment aid soared last week to 965,000, the most since late August and a sign that the resurgent virus has likely escalated layoffs. (Jan. 14) RESTRICTION SUMMARY: ASSOCIATED PRESS Potomac, Maryland - 14 January 2021 1. SOUNDBITE (English) Mark Hamrick, Senior Economic Analyst, Bankrate.com: "When we see these numbers coming from the Labor Department on new unemployment claims, I think they can at once be shocking, but not necessarily surprising. We know for 43 weeks now, the economy has been in a recession or a downturn was caused by the pandemic. The pandemic has been raging out of control. So we see further job losses. More people need help. That's what shows up with these numbers." ++WHITE FLASH++ 2. SOUNDBITE (English) Mark Hamrick, Senior Economic Analyst, Bankrate.com: "Now that it's been resolved that Democrats won the two Georgia U.S. Senate races, that gives the incoming Biden administration a clearer path toward getting its legislative priorities passed. It's not going to be easy, but I think there is probably a shared recognition by members of both the Republican and Democratic parties that the economy is still hobbled by this pandemic." ++WHITE FLASH++ 3. SOUNDBITE (English) Mark Hamrick, Senior Economic Analyst, Bankrate.com: "The president-elect is going to want to push through higher levels of economic stimulus or relief payments. We're hearing that those payments will be in total around $2,000. And there is going to be some inefficiency here in the sense of money going to people who don't necessarily need it. But there is no doubt there is a large number of individuals out there who do need help." ++WHITE FLASH++ 4. SOUNDBITE (English) Mark Hamrick, Senior Economic Analyst, Bankrate.com: "Our economist survey indicates that the economy will heal here in the second half of the year and probably as soon as we get more vaccines administered, begin this rolling reopening of the economy. But make no mistake about it. Here, recently, there has been a high level of economic distress among basically individuals and consumers. Our most recent survey found, for example, that only 39% of Americans can afford to pay an emergency expense of a thousand dollars or more from savings. So with 50% of households having …