Economy

As July report shows no let-up in mass joblessness

White House, Congress combine to cut off supplemental unemployment benefits

By Jacob Crosse, 8 August 2020

Driven by social interests irreconcilably opposed to those of the working class, congressional leaders from both parties adjourned Friday without restoring jobless pay.

President Trump signs executive orders banning Chinese social media apps TikTok and WeChat

By Kevin Reed, 8 August 2020

On Thursday, the US president signed two executive orders that will ban the operation of TikTok and WeChat in the US unless they are acquired by US-based companies within 45 days.

US moves to delist Chinese companies from stock exchanges

By Nick Beams, 8 August 2020

The move has been couched in terms of protecting “investor safety,” but it is another component of the economic warfare being carried out by Washington.

Lufthansa, backed by unions, expands job cuts

By Ulrich Rippert, 8 August 2020

In stepping up its attacks on airline workers, Lufthansa collaborates closely with its three unions—UFO, Cockpit and Verdi.

Gold price surges to record high

By Nick Beams, 6 August 2020

A major gold trading fund now holds gold equal to a quarter of that held at Fort Knox in the US and has more than the gold reserves of the Bank of Japan, the Bank of England and the Reserve Bank of India.

US imposes new sanctions on China over alleged Uyghur abuses

By Peter Symonds, 5 August 2020

US propaganda now includes allegations of Uyghur “genocide,” based on sensational accounts of forced birth control and the sterilization of Uyghur women in Xinjiang province.

Mass unemployment to worsen in Australia following Victorian lockdown

By Mike Head, 4 August 2020

Workers, especially those in casual and insecure employment, will bear the burden of the sweeping “state of disaster” COVID-19 restrictions announced by Victoria’s Labor government.

European economy collapses as EU bails out the super-rich

By Anthony Torres and Alex Lantier, 3 August 2020

Eurostat economic figures for the second quarter of 2020 show that Europe saw its deepest and most sudden economic collapse in history.

US credit outlook rated “negative” as concerns mount over dollar’s global role

By Nick Beams, 3 August 2020

The Fitch credit rating agency said high fiscal deficits, already present before the economic shock of the COVID-19 pandemic, have started to “erode the traditional credit strength of the US.”

As stock indexes continue their climb

US unemployment supplement expires, setting the stage for mass hunger and homelessness

By Barry Grey, 1 August 2020

The congressional stalemate over an extension of the unemployment pay supplement, which is certain to result in the total elimination or a major cut in the benefit, is a declaration of war against the entire working population.

Millions face economic and social disaster as Wall Street celebrates

By Jerry White, 31 July 2020

Even as the US economy suffers its sharpest contraction in history and the death toll from the pandemic surpasses 155,000, the private fortunes of America’s billionaires continue to rise.

Fed chair Powell says backstop to markets to remain for a “very long time”

By Nick Beams, 30 July 2020

The massive intervention by the Fed and other central banks into financial markets beginning last March has raised fears, reflected in the soaring price for gold, that currencies are being debased.

As other mid-Michigan corporations carry out layoffs

Dow Chemical announces plan to cut six percent of its global workforce

By Luke Galvin, 30 July 2020

The latest round of layoffs at Dow further exposes the long-going exploitative and controlling nature of the company’s relationship with the Midland, Michigan region.

Concerns mount over financial stability as US dollar falls and gold price soars

By Nick Beams, 28 July 2020

A report published in the New York Times last week on the March crisis—the trigger for the latest round of Fed intervention—noted that speculative activity of hedge funds had pushed “critical parts of the US financial markets” towards a collapse.

Retail workers strike in France as wage cuts and layoffs spread

By Will Morrow, 28 July 2020

The unions’ central concern is to prevent a movement of the entire working class in France and across Europe against layoffs and European Union austerity measures.

Spain’s Podemos hails €750 billion EU bank bailout for COVID-19 crisis

By Alejandro López, 28 July 2020

The EU bailout Iglesias calls a “breath of fresh air” is the roll-out across Europe of the model of Greek bailouts after the 2008 crash, to repay trillions of euros given to the rich.

WISAG ground services slashes hundreds of jobs at Berlin Tegel Airport

By Gustav Kemper and Wolfgang Weber, 28 July 2020

This attack has long been planned by the company, the Berlin state executive and the Verdi trade union. Now the coronavirus pandemic and impending closure of Tegel are being used as the excuse to implement it.

Australian treasurer hails Reagan and Thatcher as “inspiration” for government’s economic agenda

By Nick Beams, 28 July 2020

Frydenberg lauded the “success” of the offensive against the working class in the 1980s, just as he announced a record budget deficit of $184.5 billion for this financial year.

$600-per-week jobless benefit expires for 20 million US workers

By Patrick Martin, 27 July 2020

The Trump administration and Democratic and Republican leaders in Congress are condemning millions of workers to destitution, hunger and homelessness.

EU Summit agrees to €750 billion fund for the banks and corporations

By Will Morrow, 22 July 2020

The agreement will provide a new revenue stream for European states to give handouts to corporations, and a new mechanism for austerity across the continent.

Growing signs of deep and prolonged global recession

By Nick Beams, 21 July 2020

Many large US companies are reported to have determined that earlier measures are not going to be sufficient and that increased COVID-19 cases and related shutdowns have dashed hopes for a quick recovery.

Ireland heading for second COVID-19 wave

By Steve James, 21 July 2020

Ireland’s National Public Health Emergency Team has warned of a second wave of COVID-19 infection as the Central Bank warns of a “severe negative shock”.

Democrats, Republicans prepare to slash workers’ unemployment supplement

By Shannon Jones, 21 July 2020

Congressional Democrats and Republicans are preparing to slash or eliminate the $600 weekly unemployment supplement that has been a lifeline for millions of workers laid off during the pandemic.

US escalates economic warfare against Russia and China

By Nick Beams, 18 July 2020

After securing a decision by the UK government to ban the Chinese firm Huawei from its 5G rollout, the US is pressuring the Merkel government in Germany to take the same decision.

Nearly 650,000 jobs lost in UK during pandemic, with much worse to come

By Robert Stevens, 18 July 2020

The collapse in the number of workers in employment takes place along with a drastic fall in hours for those remaining in a job, and a fall in wages.

Destruction of full-time jobs intensifies in Australia

By Mike Head, 18 July 2020

Governments and employers are working with the trade unions to exploit the COVID-19 catastrophe to accelerate the casualisation of the workforce.

First-time jobless claims in US top 1 million for 17th straight week

By Jessica Goldstein, 17 July 2020

The number of new official jobless claims demonstrate a state of deep economic crisis for US capitalism.

US retail bankruptcies and closures accelerate during COVID-19 pandemic

By Trévon Austin, 17 July 2020

As many as 25,000 stores and half of the malls in the US face closure.

The politics of the capitalist debt economy

By Nick Beams, 14 July 2020

So far this year, top-rated US corporations have issued almost as much debt as they did in the whole of 2019, putting them on course to exceed the record debt issuance of $1.37 trillion in 2017.

As it charts depths of economic crisis

OECD pushes for cuts in assistance for jobless

By Nick Beams, 9 July 2020

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development says that up to 10 times fewer hours have been worked in some countries as compared with the first months of the 2008 financial crisis.

New York City Democrats ensure budget protects NYPD and guts social services

By Sam Dalton, 8 July 2020

An examination of the budget makes clear that highly publicized $1 billion “cut” to the New York Police Department is a complete sham.

Nearly 200,000 jobs lost in the UK amid pandemic

By Robert Stevens, 7 July 2020

Workers have been laid off particularly heavily in the retail, travel, hospitality, and manufacturing sectors.

Germany’s Commerzbank plans to cut 11,000 jobs

By Gustav Kemper, 7 July 2020

In common with many other businesses, Commerzbank is using the coronavirus pandemic to implement preexisting plans to shed jobs and close branches.

Thousands more jobs destroyed in Australia

By Terry Cook, 7 July 2020

Employers are continuing to utilise the COVID-19 pandemic to restructure their operations, shedding thousands of jobs and cutting working conditions.

Millions in the US face catastrophe as federal unemployment relief set to expire amid surging pandemic

By Kevin Reed, 4 July 2020

The combined economic impact of the raging pandemic and the imminent cutoff of $600 weekly federal assistance is leading to a social catastrophe for millions across the US.

Trump administration gives private equity firms access to 401(k) retirement funds

By Gabriel Black, 4 July 2020

The $7.9 trillion in 401(k) retirement funds will be used to buttress private equity markets and further enrich the financial oligarchy.

Sri Lankan president orders Central Bank to give more credit to big business

By Saman Gunadasa, 4 July 2020

While providing huge financial concessions to the banks and big business, the government is imposing greater economic burdens on workers and the poor.

US unemployment rate dips, but millions remain jobless or face wage cuts

By Jerry White, 3 July 2020

Despite Trump’s claims that the “economy is roaring back,” joblessness remains at depression levels while the reopening of businesses has produced a surge of COVID-19 cases.

US Fed official warns of potential for a financial crisis

By Nick Beams, 3 July 2020

Having boosted the wealth of the financial oligarchy, in the midst of economic devastation for working people, the Fed is actively considering giving the rich even more support.

Airbus cuts 15,000 jobs

Coronavirus crisis triggers mass layoffs, wage cuts across Europe

By Will Morrow, 1 July 2020

Having given massive state bailouts to the corporations, the ruling class is using the pandemic to effect a historic restructuring in class relations.

Royal Mail workers in the UK face jobs massacre

By Paul Lee, 30 June 2020

Two thousand management job cuts will be followed by at least 20,000 redundancies from the remaining workforce.

A revealing comment from a finance chief

By Nick Beams, 30 June 2020

Over the past 12 years, since the financial crisis of 2008, the state has provided trillions of dollars to the banks, hedge funds and corporations, shattering the nostrums of “free market” capitalism.

Another 1.5 million US workers file for jobless benefits

By Jerry White, 26 June 2020

The US Labor Department recorded a record fourteenth week in a row in which the number applying for unemployment aid topped one million.

Wirecard: The German economy sinks into criminality

By Peter Schwarz, 26 June 2020

The company CEO was arrested in connection with the disappearance of 1.9 billion euros ($2 billion).

New York City mayor de Blasio threatens 22,000 municipal worker layoffs

By Fred Mazelis, 26 June 2020

The city faces a June 30 deadline for a budget at a time when revenues show a $9 billion fall due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

IMF downgrades forecast for global economy

By Nick Beams, 25 June 2020

The global economy is predicted to take a $12 trillion hit over 2020 and 2021 with the COVID-19 pandemic having a “catastrophic” effect on the world labour market.

Pandemic intensifies unemployment and poverty among Turkish workers

By Ozan Özgür, 24 June 2020

Millions of workers are losing their jobs, left unable to meet basic needs as billions go to cheap loans in the interests of the ruling class in Turkey.

Aviation industry workers face deep cuts to pay and hours worldwide

By Steve Filips, 20 June 2020

Airlines are slashing jobs, pay, and hours of workers in a desperate attempt to bolster profits at worker expense during the pandemic.

Air France-KLM prepares to slash at least 6,000 jobs

By Anthony Torres, 20 June 2020

After receiving a €7 billion public bailout, the French-Dutch airline is preparing to slash between 6,000 and 10,000 jobs amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Joblessness reaches Great Depression levels in Australia

By Mike Head, 20 June 2020

The rate of youth unemployment and underemployment would be a staggering 48 percent if everyone who had lost their job was counted.

US jobless disaster intensifies as 1.5 million filed for unemployment last week

By Shannon Jones, 19 June 2020

Mass joblessness in the US is unlike anything seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

US escalates trade and economic conflicts

By Nick Beams, 19 June 2020

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has delivered a broadside against the World Trade Organisation and indicated that trade negotiations with the European Union were going nowhere.

999 Kentucky unemployment lineups

19 June 2020

Fed boosts support for stock market by expanding corporate debt purchases

By Nick Beams, 17 June 2020

Fed chairman Jerome Powell said it would take some time before employment and economic activity returned to pre-pandemic levels.

Australian PM outlines bipartisan austerity offensive

By Oscar Grenfell, 17 June 2020

The government is winding back meagre relief measures introduced during the pandemic and intensifying an assault on working class jobs and conditions.

OECD report points to pandemic’s long-term impact

By Nick Beams, 16 June 2020

The report calls the economic outlook “exceptionally uncertain.” It warns that any recovery will be “hesitant” and subject to interruption by another outbreak of the pandemic.

Macron announces mass bankruptcies and layoffs as coronavirus restrictions are ended

By Alex Lantier, 16 June 2020

With Macron’s brief televised address, the ruling class is declaring an international class war against workers.

Nearly 24,000 Ohioans told to return unemployment payments

By Isaac Finn, 16 June 2020

State authorities demanded that thousands of workers give back “overpaid benefits” they have received since the start of the economic crisis sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nurses outraged over US hospital chain bailouts, layoffs and bloated CEO pay

By Gary Joad, 15 June 2020

The largest health care corporations and hospital chains have collected billions in federal grants and laid off tens of thousands of health care workers, while compensating top executives hundreds of millions.

Over 1.4 million US education jobs slashed in April and May

By Evan Blake, 15 June 2020

The massive education-related job losses will in many cases be permanent, with devastating repercussions for both educators and an entire generation of students.

Biggest fall on Wall Street since March meltdown

By Nick Beams, 12 June 2020

The S&P 500 dropped by 5.9 percent after it had risen by 45 percent and returned to previous highs as a result of the boom in stocks following the injection of trillions of dollars into financial markets by the Fed.

Fed to keep interest rates near zero indefinitely

By Nick Beams, 11 June 2020

The Fed forecast the US economy would contract by 6.5 percent this year and unemployment would be 9.3 percent with the decline in second quarter GDP “likely to be the most severe on record.”

The paradox of the Wall Street surge

By Nick Beams, 10 June 2020

The rise of the market, taking place in the midst of the greatest health crisis in a century, stands in stark contrast to the underlying real economy.

German government’s stimulus package: €50 billion for automakers, €1 billion for childcare

By Peter Schwarz, 8 June 2020

Like the previous bailouts, the latest package showers cash on the rich, concealed behind a few modest rations for families and will produce a further increase in social inequality.

Trump hails dubious May jobless report to boost stock market, back-to-work drive

By Shannon Jones, 6 June 2020

An unexpected decline in the unemployment rate in May is being used by the White House to declare the pandemic-fueled economic crisis over.

Australian government hands more cash to big business as recession deepens

By Mike Head, 6 June 2020

The slump began before the main COVID-19 pandemic restrictions commenced, and has led to the greatest loss of livelihoods since the 1930s Great Depression.

New US weekly unemployment claims near 2 million as foreclosures, hunger loom

By Shannon Jones, 5 June 2020

The economic meltdown triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic is evolving into a deep and long economic slump.

Zambia’s bid for IMF rescue deal thwarted by Washington’s anti-China campaign

By Jean Shaoul and Stephan McCoy, 5 June 2020

Zambia has been caught in the crosshairs of US President Donald Trump’s reckless campaign to undermine China, which he views as a threat to US global dominance.

European Central Banks boosts support for financial markets

By Nick Beams, 5 June 2020

The decision by the ECB to lift its emergency asset purchasing program to €1.35 trillion was warmly welcome in financial circles.

Nissan confirms job cuts as strike against Spanish plant closures continues

By Alejandro López, 5 June 2020

Thousands of Nissan workers, their families and sympathisers are striking, protesting and blocking roads to protest the automaker’s decision to shut down its Barcelona plant.

Economic effects of pandemic to last a decade

By Nick Beams, 4 June 2020

The Congressional Budget Office has reduced its forecast for US growth over the next decade by a cumulative $7.9 trillion, equivalent to 3 percent of gross domestic product.

Union supports ditching temporary workers at Meyer shipyard in Germany

By Marianne Arens, 4 June 2020

The unions are on the side of those raking in billions in aid to keep the German stock market bubbling.

Microsoft to replace MSN news production workers with artificial intelligence

By Mike Ingram, 3 June 2020

Dozens of workers will be replaced with artificial intelligence software that will automatically select content and manage news production.

Nearly half of all teachers in Brookline, Massachusetts receive pink slips

By Will McCalliss, 2 June 2020

With a maximum $6.3 million deficit looming, Brookline lays off $20 million’s worth of teachers in the name of “flexibility.”

Thousands of retail jobs eliminated in Sprint and T-Mobile telecom merger

By Kevin Reed, 2 June 2020

The merger of the wireless carriers Sprint and T-Mobile has already resulted in the loss of 6,000 retail jobs as the combined firm is moving aggressively to close down as many as 2,000 Metro prepaid phone stores across the country.

Pandemic intensifies social crisis in New Zealand

By Tom Peters, 30 May 2020

More than a third of the population is in financial difficulty, as the Ardern Labour Party-led coalition government presides over tens of thousands of job cuts.

Amid worsening economic downturn, European Union moves to set up bailout fund

By Nick Beams, 29 May 2020

The move to establish the new fund comes amid warnings that the effects of the pandemic on the European economy are far more serious than had been initially anticipated.

City University of New York to lay off thousands of adjunct faculty amid financial crisis

By Elliott Murtagh, 29 May 2020

The City University of New York system is beginning to implement sweeping budget cuts triggered by New York state’s estimated $13.3 billion loss in tax revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Financial press hails Australian government’s union-employer offensive against workers

By Oscar Grenfell, 29 May 2020

The unions have committed to a sweeping pro-business overhaul of workplace conditions and industrial relations on the pretext of the pandemic.

American ruling class exploits the pandemic to escalate assault on jobs and wages

By Jerry White, 29 May 2020

Major US corporations that have received billions in government bailout money are slashing thousands of jobs while protecting their corporate executives and biggest shareholders.

UK: Johnson government to unveil second multi-billion bailout of big business

By Robert Stevens, 28 May 2020

Project Birch follows on from the handing over of nearly a trillion pounds in the form of quantitative easing of £645 billion and £330 billion in business loans.

With US states facing a $230 billion loss in education funding, Betsy DeVos channels public assets to private schools

By Evan Blake, 28 May 2020

Facing an unprecedented budget crisis in every state, the ruling class is working to impose the full burden of the pandemic on the working class through massive austerity, including an evisceration of K-12 public education.

Unemployment skyrockets among youth

By Genevieve Leigh, 27 May 2020

A large body of research shows that young people, especially those without a college degree, are particularly vulnerable during economic downturns.

Hundreds of thousands of Americans face homelessness during pandemic as states begin lifting restrictions on evictions

By Trévon Austin, 26 May 2020

Across the US, moratoriums on eviction proceedings and home foreclosures, set in place during the onset of the pandemic, have either been lifted or are set to expire early next month.

After French bailout, Renault-Nissan announces global jobs massacre

By Alex Lantier, 26 May 2020

Four plants in France, three in Spain and tens of thousands of jobs worldwide are targeted amid a savage restructuring of the global auto industry.

Thyssenkrupp in Germany to be broken up

By Dietmar Gaisenkersting, 26 May 2020

With the approval of hedge funds and the IG Metall trade union, the supervisory board of Germany’s Thyssenkrupp company has decided to break up the industrial group.

Maryland Democratic Party officials cite coronavirus crisis to impose sweeping budget cuts on workers

By Ray Coleman, 26 May 2020

Democratic Party officials in Montgomery County seized upon the COVID-19 crisis to impose austerity upon county employees, many of whom are working on the front lines of the pandemic.

Sri Lankan Everbest garment workers protest job and wage cuts

By our reporters, 26 May 2020

The trade unions, like the counterparts around the world, are assisting the government and the employers.

Chinese leadership drops economic growth target

By Nick Beams, 25 May 2020

Premier Li Keqiang said the government had refrained from setting a GDP target because foreign markets were so uncertain.

Global rental car giant Hertz added to growing list of US corporations filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

By Jessica Goldstein, 25 May 2020

The restructuring has already begun with Hertz laying off or furloughing about one fourth of its workforce, or 16,000 workers, since March.

As hundreds across Europe die daily from coronavirus

European Union pushes reopening of beach resorts and hotels for summer holiday season

By Jordan Shilton, 23 May 2020

Piling one lie on another, the EU Commission claimed its guidelines would restore “transport services across the EU while protecting the health of transport workers and passengers.”

Uber lays off 6,700 white-collar workers as it continues restructuring

By Shuvu Batta, 23 May 2020

Uber has slashed jobs for its white-collar workers while it restructures its business in response to its fall in share values and drop in ride requests.

US Agriculture Department outlines program to aid farmers hit by pandemic

By Alex Findijs, 23 May 2020

The design of the program will inevitably lead to a disproportionate share of funding flowing to large firms.

Wealth of US billionaires soars as pandemic expands, nearly 40 million unemployed

By Niles Niemuth, 23 May 2020

The class logic at play in the homicidal push to reopen the US economy before the spread of the coronavirus has been controlled is becoming increasingly clear.

US unemployment claims approach 40 million since March

By Niles Niemuth, 22 May 2020

According to some estimates, the real unemployment rate has already hit 22.5 percent, which is nearing levels reached during the depths of the Great Depression in 1933.

Further details emerge on the extent of the mid-March financial crisis

By Nick Beams, 22 May 2020

While the Fed has taken limited measures to try to curb some of the riskier activities of the banks that sparked the 2008 crash, the dangers have simply been shifted to other areas of the financial system.

Merkel and Macron’s European bailout: €500 billion for trade war and austerity

By Peter Schwarz, 22 May 2020

Merkel and Macron see the coronavirus crisis as an opportunity to strengthen their countries’ position in the world market and reorganise the European economy in the interests of the major corporations.

Nearly 1.5 million health care workers laid off in pandemic-fueled jobs massacre

By Gary Joad, 22 May 2020

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 43,000 health care workers lost their jobs in March, while 1.4 million more lost their jobs in April.

The economic impact of the pandemic on young workers in Wayne County, Michigan

By Helen Halyard and Kevin Reed, 22 May 2020

The WSWS spoke with Karissa, 27, about her experiences over the past eight weeks since she and her fiancé lost their jobs when the coronavirus pandemic hit the Detroit area.

US government to file antitrust lawsuit against Google this summer

By Kevin Reed, 21 May 2020

The DOJ case will reportedly raise “concerns that Google uses its dominant search business to stifle competition.”