Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin downplayed a record-breaking 3.28 million Americans applying for unemployment benefits last week as a result of the coronavirus crisis.
“To be honest with you, I think these numbers right now aren’t relevant,” Mnuchin said in a CNBC interview after about 2 percent of the US workforce filed for out-of-work benefits.
Mnuchin said the spike was a “short term” issue after a $2 trillion stimulus bill passed the Senate Wednesday. The bill, which won’t be passed by the House of Representatives until Friday, along with Federal Reserve stimulus, would stabilize the economy and put people back to work, he said.
“Obviously, there are people who have jobless claims,” Mnuchin said. “And the good thing about the bill is the president is protecting those people. So, now with these plans, small businesses hopefully will be able to hire back a lot of those people. Last week, they didn’t know if they had protections. They didn’t have any