The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits over the past six weeks has now reached nearly 30 million. Due to COVID-19, the country has terminated a decade’s worth of jobs in days and confronted a series of milestones highlighting the unprecedented toll on the U.S. economy.
What We Know:
- As the number of new claims continues to skyrocket, the monumental tally is still holding up to the predicted unemployment rate of 16.4% in May, which would that would be the highest since the Great Depression, according to Morgan Stanley.
- Roughly 3.8 million people filed for unemployment last week alone, the Labor Department said Thursday. This is fewer than the 4.4 million who filed the week before and down from the all-time high of 6.86 million applications in late March.
- To put in another perspective, by mid-April alone, more claims had been filed over four weeks than there were jobs created in the wake of the economic downturn of 2008.
- “The COVID-19 crisis has made us accustomed and desensitized to previously unthinkable phenomena, but today marks a tough reality for our country and for American workers,’’ Andrew Stettner, senior fellow at The Century Foundation, said in a statement.
- Many people applying for unemployment benefits now likely lost work weeks ago but were only recently able to file claims because state systems have been bogged down or even immobilized by the unprecedented number of applications.
The federal monthly employment report for April will provide one of the broadest pictures yet of just how deeply COVID-19 has decimated the labor market when it’s released next Friday. Past May, experts can see as much as 20 percent unemployment rate by June.