Unemployment Claims Set Another Discouraging Record In Mass.

Darnell Taylor
April 2, 2020

The 3.3 million Americans who had filed for jobless benefits the previous week was already a record, shattering the 675,000 who did so during one month in the financial crisis of 2009.

The number of Americans filing claims for unemployment benefits surged to more than 6.6 million last week, breaking a record high for the second week in a row as more states and cities enforced strict stay-at-home measures in an attempt to stop the coronavirus pandemic.

You can read the full report from the Department of Labor here.

During the Great Depression from 1929 to 1933, the USA unemployment rate peaked at 24.9% - a figure that economists and officials fear could now be topped due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"Further job loss expected in coming weeks is very likely to push unemployment above 10 percent, even taking account of a potential steep decline in the labour force participation rate, as some displaced workers are neither furloughed nor looking for work", Hollenhorst wrote in a note. She said that by-county unemployment claim data from the state is embargoed until then because the state must first receive and confirm numbers from the U.S. Department of Labor. The number of claims has grown by over 3.3 million since the previous week. Estimates in the survey were as high as 5.25 million.

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"A rough look at the most affected industries suggests a potential payroll job loss of over 16 million jobs", said David Kelly, chief global strategist at JPMorgan Funds.

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The numbers are alarming enough on their own, but they become more ominous in light of the fact that public health experts are predicting that the worst of the coronavirus outbreak in America is yet to come, and the lockdowns in place in nearly every state are likely to extend at least until the end of April.

Initial jobless claims are a proxy for layoffs. That pushed the insured unemployment rate up to 2.1% from 1.2%.

That is almost double the week earlier, which was also a new record. "At a certain point, we will get the virus under control and confidence will return".

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