Data: Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. Note: This chart was updated to show the data for both claims and number of unemployed persons were as of July 2

Thursday's jobs report from the Labor Department showed the U.S. added nearly 5 million jobs in June, leaving 17.8 million people unemployed, but the Labor Department also reported that more than 31 million people were receiving unemployment benefits and an additional 6 million had applied as of June 27.

What happened: The CARES Act allowed for Americans who would not typically be eligible for unemployment assistance to qualify for benefits under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program, including part-time workers and the self-employed.

  • Over the past month, as municipalities around the nation have removed "stay at home" orders, the number of people receiving PUA has swelled, from 9.7 million on May 23 to 12.9 million — the opposite of what was expected.
  • Additionally, at least 1 million Americans have filed jobless claims for 15 straight weeks.
  • The number of people approved for and receiving traditional unemployment benefits declined by less than 1 million from May 16 to June 13, the last date for which data was available.

What it means: The decline in unemployment seems to largely be the result of classification rather than an improved jobs market — people who had been classified as unemployed are returning to work but those who are now losing their jobs because of the coronavirus pandemic are often classified as "out of the labor force," not unemployed.

  • "In June, there were 17.8 million workers who were officially unemployed, but there were an additional 2.0 million workers who were temporarily unemployed but who were being misclassified as 'employed not at work,'” Economic Policy Institute economists Heidi Shierholz and Elise Gould write.
  • "And 5.0 million who were out of work as a result of the virus were being counted as having dropped out of the labor force. Altogether, that is 24.5 million workers who are either officially unemployed or otherwise out of work as a result of the virus."
  • "If all these workers were taken into account, the unemployment rate would be a whopping 15.0%."

Go deeper

Biden says campaign raised $383 million in September

Joe Biden in Miramar, Florida, on Oct. 13. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Joe Biden announced on Twitter Wednesday evening that his presidential campaign raised a record $383 million in the month of September, topping the $364.5 million raised in August.

Why it matters: The news comes just 20 days before the election and is believed to be the most-ever raised by a presidential candidate in a single month, likely driven by the first presidential debate.

Ina Fried, author of Login
Oct 14, 2020 - Technology

More tech companies plan to let workers stay remote post-pandemic

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

A growing number of tech companies say workers need not ever come back to the office if they don't want to. The move comes as pandemic-related closures have already kept many tech workers out of the office for months.

Why it matters: Technology's spread into every corner of the broader economy keeps boosting demand for workers with tech skills. That pushes employers to accommodate tech talent wherever they find it.

Cable news ratings up 72% over 2019

Via Fox News

CNN, Fox News and MSNBC collectively averaged just under 10 million viewers in prime time last week — the week of the vice presidential debate — or 72% more than the same week in 2019, per the AP.

The state of play: Fox News' average of 4.42 million last week was up 63%, and MSNBC's 2.75 million was up 38% Meanwhile, CNN's 2.59 million was an eye-popping 172% increase.