U.S. jobless claims climb 3.8 million in late April to push coronavirus total to 30 million

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

The numbers: Some 3.8 million American workers who just lost their jobs applied last week for unemployment benefits, bringing a record number of layoffs during the coronavirus crisis to about 30 million in a month and a half.

The weekly pace of layoffs has slowed since peaking at 6.9 million at the end of March, but millions more are still expected to apply in the next several weeks. And many are still waiting for states to process and approve their claims.

New applications for jobless benefits have soared to 30 million since the coronavirus pandemic began less than two months ago.

Getty Images

The unprecedented surge in layoffs as business shutdown to combat the coronavirus pandemic has pushed the unemployment rate to the highest levels since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Pinning down the true level of unemployment isn’t easy, but senior economist Sal Guatieri of BMO Capital Markets points out that about 19% of the pre-crisis labor force has applied for benefits.

The official jobless rate will be released next week with the Labor Department’s employment report for April.

What happened: Last week, the states of Florida, Georgia, California, Texas and New York reported the biggest increases in new claims, according to the Labor Department.

The stunningly large number of job losses each week appears to be winding down, but the damage has been deep and widespread.

The number of people collecting unemployment benefits, known as continuing claims, jumped to 18 million as of April 18. These figures are reported with a two-week lag.

Just a few months ago, new jobless claims were in the low 200,000s and stood near a 50-year low. Only about 1.7 million Americans were collecting benefits. And the unemployment rate was at a half-century low of 3.5%.

It’s important to note that the government’s figures for jobless claims are adjusted for seasonal variations. The actual number of new claims filed since the pandemic began is somewhat smaller at nearly 28 million.

What’s more, some of the people who previously applied for benefits may have been called back to work or put back on payrolls as a result of the government’s special aid package for small businesses that keep paying their employees.

The big picture: The federal government has boosted aid and loosened eligibility standards to help more Americans whose finances have been crushed by widespread business closures and stay-at-home orders.

The extra money will help the economy from collapsing entirely, but the U.S. is headed for a deep recession that’s likely to last through the early summer. The economy could start to recover in several months, but how quickly it snaps back will depend on the government’s success in squelching the spread of the coronavirus.

What they are saying? “Claims may continue to fall over coming weeks but will likely remain high as businesses remain closed and have no choice but to continue to reduce or furlough their workforce,” said Rubeela Farooqi, Chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics.

Originally Published on MarketWatch

Home of Science
Follow me

- Advertisement -




Gary Lineker row goes to heart of BBC reputation – Ofcom bosson March 14, 2023 at 2:27 pm

The regulator's boss says it is right the BBC is reviewing its social media guidelines after the row.Image source, ReutersBy James GregoryBBC NewsThe BBC...

Five arrested after Man City fan attacked in Belgiumon October 20, 2021 at 11:54 am

Five people are arrested after a Manchester City fan was attacked following Tuesday's Champions League game at Club Bruges.

Alex Jones must pay $50m for Sandy Hook hoax claimon August 5, 2022 at 10:29 pm

The parents of a child killed in the attack said they had endured harassment and emotional distress.Image source, ReutersUS conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has...

Arsenal 2-2 Ajax: Late Ajax equaliser levels Champions League qualifying tieon September 20, 2022 at 9:43 pm

Arsenal's chances of qualifying for the Champions League group stage are in the balance as they were forced to settle for a draw following...

Volunteers are helping lower bills for those on low incomeson February 27, 2022 at 12:43 am

Specialist community groups are offering workshops and home visits to help people cut energy bills.
Home of Science
Follow me