Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The extra $600 a week of unemployment insurance isn't creating a disincentive for job seekers, per a new study by Yale economists.

Why it matters: Even with that extra help, millions of Americans are barely making ends meet. Now it has expired, and congressional Republicans' argument against extending it — that it rewards unemployment — isn't backed by the data.

The big picture: Some small-business owners around the country have said they believe the extra $600 a week was making it more difficult for them to hire workers. But when the Yale economists zoomed out, they found that the benefit had no effect on the labor market.

  • "Our findings don't imply that nobody is making this particular tradeoff, but what we do find is that [the extra benefit's] aggregate effect on employment is zero," Dana Scott, one of the study's authors, tells Axios.
  • In fact, there are around 14 million more unemployed people than there are jobs, per the Economic Policy Institute. "If we’re in a scenario where the jobs aren’t there, searching isn’t going to help," Scott says.

The stakes: Reducing — or doing away — with the benefit could actually lead to bigger economic problems as people have even less money in their pockets and cut back on consumer spending, she says.

Go deeper: The unemployment situation is really, really bad

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Sep 21, 2020 - Economy & Business

Unemployment concerns are growing

Data: U.S. Department of Labor; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

Initial unemployment insurance filings fell below 800,000 for the first time since March last week, but the total number of Americans receiving unemployment benefits remained at nearly 30 million, data from the Department of Labor shows.

What's happening: While fewer people are filing initial jobless claims, there remains a staggering number of unemployment insurance recipients and the data are growing increasingly unreliable.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
Sep 21, 2020 - Economy & Business

Wall Street: Recession is over

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

U.S. economic activity fell more sharply in the second quarter of this year than during any other quarter in history. It's also going to grow more sharply in the third quarter of this year than during any other quarter in history.

  • The recession is over, according to Wall Street, with current forecasts showing sustained economic growth through 2021 and beyond.

TikTok's content-moderation time bomb

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

When the dust finally clears from the fight over TikTok, whoever winds up running the burgeoning short-video-sharing service is likely to face a world of trouble trying to manage speech on it.

Why it matters: Facebook’s story already shows us how much can go wrong when online platforms beloved by passionate young users turn into public squares.

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