Steven Mnuchin Calls Record Unemployment Claims ‘Not Relevant’ on CNBC

U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin said that record unemployment claims were “not relevant” during an interview with Jim Cramer and David Faber on CNBC Thursday.

“We knew the jobless claims was not going to be a good one. I am curious what your thoughts were when you saw that 3.283 million number this morning?” asked Faber.

“To be honest with you, I just think these numbers right now are not relevant whether they’re bigger or smaller in the short term,” Mnuchin responded.

“Obviously, there people who have jobless claims, and, again, the good thing about the bill is the president is protecting those people,” Mnuchin added, referring to the coronavirus stimulus aid package, which was passed on Wednesday night.

“They had no choice, now with this bill passed by Congress, there are protections, and as I said, hopefully, those workers will be rehired, but between these three programs, it protects all of American workers.”

“And, by the way, you know, lots of big companies do continue to hire, for obviously grocery stores, pharmacies, you know, delivery services. These companies are on overtime, so I know they’re hiring people as fast as they can,” Mnuchin added.

The Labor Department reported on Thursday that unemployment claims surged to 3.283 million last week. This is an increase of 3 million when compared to the previous week. The number also breaks the Great Recession record of 665,000 in March 2009, and the all-time high of 695,000 in October 1982.

“The coronavirus outbreak is a truly unprecedented event in American economic history, flash-freezing the economy by forcing businesses to shut down and putting millions of American workers out of jobs,” Glassdoor senior economist Daniel Zhao said in a statement Thursday.

Watch Mnuchin above, via CNBC.

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