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New unemployment claims reach 5.2 million in a week

BREAKING NEWS: Coronavirus leaves at least 22 million Americans out of work in four weeks after 5.2 million new jobless benefit claims are filed in one week

  • There were 5.2 million new claims for unemployment benefits filed last week, according to the latest Labor Department figures released on Thursday 
  • The staggering number of first-time claims was on top of the 16.8 million applications filed since the virus took hold in mid-March 
  • It means at least 22 million Americans have been thrown out of work in four weeks – making it the worst stretch of US job losses on record
  • All businesses deemed nonessential have been closed in 48 states as the economy has essentially shut down 
  • Some economists say the unemployment rate could reach as high as 20 percent in April, which would be the highest rate since the Great Depression 
  • Learn more about how to help people impacted by COVID

The coronavirus outbreak has thrown at least 22 million Americans out of work in four week as tough measures to control the coronavirus outbreak continues to ground much of the economy.

There were 5.2 million new claims for unemployment benefits filed last week, according to the latest Labor Department figures released on Thursday.

The staggering number of first-time claims was on top of the 16.8 million applications filed since the virus took hold in mid-March. 

It means about 13.5 percent of the workforce have filed for unemployment in four weeks – making it the worst stretch of US job losses on record. 

The new jobless claims figures collectively constitute the largest and fastest string of job losses in records dating to 1948. 

The real number is likely to be even higher because many states are still clearing out backlogs of unemployment claims after lengthy delays due to the influx of people filing online and via the phone.   

There were 5.2 million new claims for unemployment benefits filed last week, according to the latest Labor Department figures released on Thursday. Pictured is the closed Illinois Department of Employment Security building in Chicago on Wednesday

The states with the largest increases in new claims last week were Georgia (up 256,312), Michigan (up 84,219), Arizona (up 43,488), Texas (up 38,982) and Virginia (up 34,872).   

All businesses deemed nonessential have been closed in 48 states as the economy has essentially shut down to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Some economists say the unemployment rate could reach as high as 20 percent in April, which would be the highest rate since the Great Depression. 

Layoffs have spread beyond services industries such as restaurants and hotels into blue-collar and professional occupations, including software programmers, construction workers and sales jobs. 

Up to 50 million jobs are vulnerable to coronavirus-related layoffs, economists say – about one-third of all positions in the United States. 

Weekly jobless claims, the most timely data on the economy’s health, are being closely watched for clues on the depth of the downturn, when the waves of layoffs may let up and when a recovery might start. 

The latest unemployment benefits report followed dismal data on Wednesday showing a record drop in retail sales in March and the biggest decline in factory output since 1946.  

 

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk