36 million have sought US unemployment assist since COVID-19 hit

All advised, the figures level to a job market gripped by its worst disaster in many years and an financial system that’s sinking right into a extreme downturn. The report suggests the tentative reopening of some companies in lots of states has achieved little to reverse the move of mass layoffs. Final week’s tempo of recent purposes for assist is 4 instances the document excessive that prevailed earlier than the coronavirus struck arduous in March.


Jobless staff in some states are nonetheless reporting issue making use of for or receiving advantages. These embody free-lance, gig and self-employed staff, who turned newly eligible for jobless assist this yr.

In Georgia, one of many first states to partially reopen its financial system, the variety of unemployment claims rose final week to 241,000. In Florida, which has allowed eating places to reopen at one-quarter capability, claims jumped to just about 222,000, although that state’s unemployment company has struggled to course of claims. Different states which have lifted some restrictions, comparable to South Carolina and Texas, reported massive declines in claims.

President Donald Trump appeared to reply to the report by tweeting, “Good numbers popping out of States which are opening. America is getting its life again!”

The most recent jobless claims observe a devastating jobs report final week. The federal government mentioned the unemployment price soared to 14.7 per cent in April, the best price because the Nice Melancholy, and employers shed a surprising 20.5 million jobs. A decade’s price of job progress was worn out in a single month.

The jobless rate in the US has skyrocketed.

The jobless price within the US has skyrocketed.Credit score:AP

Even these figures didn’t seize the complete scale of the injury. The federal government mentioned many staff in April have been counted as employed however absent from work however ought to have been counted as quickly unemployed.


Thousands and thousands of different laid-off staff did not search for a brand new job in April, possible discouraged by their prospects in a principally shuttered financial system, and weren’t included, both. If all these individuals had been counted as unemployed, the jobless price would have reached almost 24 per cent.

Most economists have forecast that the official unemployment price might hit 18 per cent or increased in Might earlier than doubtlessly declining by summer season.

The job market’s collapse has occurred with dizzying pace. As just lately as February, the unemployment price was three.5 per cent, a half-century low. Employers had added jobs for a document 9 years. Even in March, unemployment was simply four.four per cent.

Now, with few Individuals procuring, travelling, consuming out or in any other case spending usually, economists are projecting that the gross home product – the broadest gauge of financial exercise – is shrinking within the April-June quarter at a roughly 40 per cent annual price. That will be the deepest quarterly contraction on document.

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