COVID-19 crisis in the U.S.: More than 3 million Americans filed for unemployment claims last week

In the U.S., over the last week, more than 3 million citizens have filed for unemployment.

The colossal downturn in unemployed Americans is a result of the nationwide lockdowns. Recently, the COVID-19 pandemic situation has forced thousands of businesses and companies to dismiss their employees, or even shut down for good. Economists were expecting around 1.5 million unemployment claims, but in reality, the number was much higher.

The previous week, before the quarantine began, the Americans residents filed for unemployment were only 282,000, as per the U.S. Department of Labor. Shockingly, this week’s record numbers crushed the Great Recession peak of 665,000 in March 2009, and the all-time mark of 695,000 in October 1982.

Diane Swonk, a chief economist at Grant Thornton, says that this terrifying statistic is just “the tip of the iceberg”. She told NBC News:

“Businesses cannot plan for this kind of sudden stop of cash flow. This isn’t a ‘rainy day fund’ situation.”

According to Gov. Gavin Newson, only in California, the jobless claims are reaching more than 100,000 a day.

He states that since March 13, they’ve passed the 1 million mark of unemployment applications.

The numbers came on Thursday morning. This happened just hours after the Senate passed a historic $2.2 trillion economic rescue package, containing specific measures to address the spike in unemployment claims. The senior economic analyst Mark Hamrick explains:

“It is reasonable to expect that some, perhaps many, but not all, of these jobs will come back once we venture back into public. One of the goals of the legislation now moving through Congress is to help many businesses survive and retain workers.”

Jobless applications are considered the quickest window into current economic conditions during the pandemic. The near-term damage is expected to be dramatic. Explained in numbers, for the one-week period, the advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, not seasonally adjusted, piled up to 2,898,450. The stunning increase was calculated to be of 1,052.9%, from the previous week.

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