US layoffs still high, but so is skepticism on jobless data

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits dipped last week to a still-high 840,000, evidence that layoffs remain elevated seven months into the pandemic recession.

News Story (NATIONAL)

Christopher Rugaber
Associated Press (AP)
October 8, 2020

Tags: COVID-19, Small Business, Unemployment


“Some of these new layoffs are coming from firms that didn’t want or didn’t have to lay people off at first,” said Constance Hunter, chief economist at KPMG. Now, “they have no choice but to start reducing their workforce.”

Consider Luke McCann. He had hoped through September that business would finally pick up at his online marketing company,, based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

It didn’t. So McCann was forced to lay off seven of the 15 staffers at his company, which helps businesses find collection agencies. His revenue had shrunk as small businesses either closed down or decided not to pursue customers who hadn’t paid their bills, McCann said.