The U.S. Capitol building on Oct. 8.



Photo:

Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg News

Tuesday

U.S. consumer prices are expected to rise in September for a fourth consecutive month following a sharp drop at the height of pandemic lockdowns. The Covid-19 recession has scrambled prices for an array of goods and services, but overall inflation pressures are expected to remain muted, allowing the Federal Reserve to keep its easy-money policies in place.

The International Monetary Fund releases forecasts for global economic growth that are expected to show a less-severe contraction in 2020 than initially anticipated. The latest outlook report comes as finance ministers and central bankers gather virtually for the IMF and World Bank’s annual meetings, which are often catalysts for global responses to crises but are unlikely to spark unified action against the Covid-19 recession this year.

Thursday

U.S. jobless claims have remained stubbornly high in recent weeks, a sign layoffs are still elevated even as the overall economy adds jobs. Figures for the week ended Oct. 10 are expected to show a slight decline in new applications for benefits from the previous week—though not nearly enough of a drop to change the picture of continued economic disruption.

European Union leaders meet in Brussels on Thursday and Friday to take stock of Brexit negotiations. The EU and U.K. face a Dec. 31 deadline to finalize terms for the breakup or face new barriers to trade and heightened economic disruption. The sides remain at odds on issues including appropriate levels of state aid, fishing rights and new U.K. legislation that appears to breach terms of a withdrawal agreement.

Friday

U.S. retail sales are expected to advance in September for a fifth consecutive month, underscoring a strong rebound in consumer spending on goods. Another month

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canada added 378,200 jobs in September and the unemployment rate fell to 9.0%, handily beating analyst expectations, as children returned to school and the economy continued to reopen from coronavirus shutdowns, Statistics Canada said on Friday.

Analysts in a Reuters poll had predicted a gain of 156,600 jobs and for the unemployment rate to fall to 9.7% from 10.2% in August.

The gain brought employment to within 720,000 of its pre-pandemic level, Statscan said.

“It’s a good number. It’s very encouraging that we didn’t decelerate in September,” said Andrew Kelvin, chief Canada strategist at TD Securities.

The Canadian dollar strengthened to a three-week high at 1.3132 to the greenback, or 76.15 U.S. cents.

Full-time employment rose by 334,000 and compared with 44,200 new part-time positions. Employment in the goods-producing sector grew by 75,100 jobs, while the services sector grew by 303,100 positions.

Black Canadians saw big employment gains, with their jobless rate falling 5.9 percentage points to 11.7%, while the unemployment rate for Filipino Canadians fell to 8.5%, Statscan data showed. The white jobless rate was 7%.

Employment in educational services rose by 5% in September, as students returned to school and staffing levels were adjusted to support COVID-19 classroom changes.

That helped boost employment for mothers with children under the age of 18, bringing employment levels for both mothers and fathers in line with February.

However, more mothers continued to work less than half their usual hours than fathers, with hours lost due to both personal reasons, like child care demands, and reduced shifts.

And with COVID-19 cases surging in Canada, leading to fresh restrictions in the most populous provinces, economists warned there were major headwinds on the horizon for the coming months.

“I would be shocked if job growth didn’t slow in the next couple

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell slightly last week to a still-high 840,000, evidence that job cuts remain elevated seven months into the pandemic recession.

The latest sign of a flagging recovery comes two days after President Donald Trump cut off talks over a new rescue aid package that economists say is urgently needed for millions of unemployed Americans and struggling businesses. A failure to enact another round of government aid would crimp household income and spending, and some economists say it would raise the risk of a double-dip recession.

Thursday’s report from the Labor Department said the number of people who are continuing to receive unemployment benefits dropped 1 million to 11 million. The decline suggests that many of the unemployed are being recalled to their old jobs. But it also reflects the fact that some have used up the 26 weeks of their regular state benefits and have transitioned to extended benefit programs that last an additional three months.

In Massachusetts, more than 28,500 individuals filed new unemployment claims, up about 3,000 from the week prior.

Nearly 11,000 more applied for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits, which was on par with the previous week’s numbers. The federal program provides aid for gig workers and others who are not eligible for standard state unemployment.

The weekly count of Americans applying for unemployment benefits has become less reliable as some states have increased their efforts to root out fraudulent claims and process earlier applications that have piled up.

California, for example, which accounts for more than one-quarter of the nation’s unemployment applications, last week simply provided the same figure it had supplied two weeks ago. That was because the state has stopped accepting jobless claims online for two weeks so it can implement anti-fraud technology and

Even as the number of new jobless claims continues to fall, the number of workers still waiting for jobless benefits in Washington state remains stubbornly high. 

Last week, Washingtonians filed 15,496 new unemployment claims, a 12.6% drop from the prior week, the Employment Security Department (ESD) said Thursday. It’s the lowest tally since early March, when pandemic-related layoffs were picking up — and a potential sign of a gradually improving economy. Almost 317,000 Washingtonians were collecting unemployment benefits as of last week. Nationally, there were 840,000 new claims last week, down 1% from a week earlier.

But there were also 20,223 Washingtonians as of last week who are waiting for the ESD to resolve issues with their unemployment claims, according to the agency’s weekly report. 

And that figure doesn’t reflect the many thousands of workers who have already been turned down for benefits and are now trying to appeal.

“It’s infuriating,” said Kendall Prince, a Spokane resident and Air Force veteran who says she’s owed around $11,000 in benefits on a claim ESD recently denied.

Though Prince, 25, has since found a job, she needs the benefits to cover the debt she racked up during the 10 weeks she was out of work. “If it weren’t for the mercy of my friends and family, I would be a homeless veteran right now,” she said.

ESD Commissioner Suzi LeVine acknowledged the “frustration and hardship these delays can cause” in a statement Thursday. She said such cases are the exception — the 20,223 unresolved claims represents 1.5% of all claimants during the pandemic. ESD officials say they’re shifting resources to reduce backlogs left over from an unprecedented number of claims generated by the pandemic.

But some labor advocates say the continued backlogs also reflect policy choices.

The Unemployment Law Project, a Seattle-

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell for a second week while remaining elevated, as the labor market makes scant progress amid risks of further weakness without additional federal stimulus.

Initial jobless claims in regular state programs decreased by 9,000 to 840,000 in the week ended Oct. 3, with the prior week’s figure revised higher by 12,000, Labor Department figures showed Thursday. Continuing claims, the total number of Americans on state benefit rolls, fell to 11 million in the week ended Sept. 26, a bigger-than-expected drop.

In Massachusetts, more than 28,500 individuals filed new unemployment claims, up about 3,000 from the week prior.

Nearly 11,000 more applied for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits, which was on par with the previous week’s numbers. The federal program provides aid for gig workers and others who are not eligible for standard state unemployment.

Seven months into the pandemic, initial claims nationally are still about four times the pre-virus level, and higher than the peak of the 2007-09 recession. For the latest week, economists expected initial claims of 820,000 and for continuing claims of 11.4 million, according to median estimates in a Bloomberg survey.

The report came with the same major caveat as last week: The figures from California, the most populous state, used numbers identical to the previous week because the state temporarily halted acceptance of new applications for two weeks to improve its systems and address a backlog of filings.

The slight drop in new claims underscores the gradual improvement that the labor market has seen since the initial lockdowns of the pandemic eased. Even so, recent layoff announcements from companies including Walt Disney Co. and Allstate Corp. as well as multiple airlines could start showing up in the numbers in the coming weeks.

At the same time, President Trump’s mixed messages