Coronavirus

Another 2.9 million people apply for unemployment; total now 36 million

Another 2

MCCAIG/iStock(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — A further 2,981,000 people applied for unemployment in the week ending May 9, according to data released this morning by the U.S. Department of Labor.

That means more than 36 million Americans have applied for unemployment in the eight weeks since COVID-19 began prompting businesses to close and employers to subsequently furlough workers.

While today’s number of unemployment claims is lower than the record high of nearly seven million claims filed in a single week in March, it’s still much higher than any single week of claims filed prior to the pandemic.  This week’s number is also 195,000 lower than the previous week’s level, which itself was subsequently revised up, from 3.169 million claims to 3.176 million.

There are increasing concerns that many of these jobs aren’t coming back for a long time, perhaps not until 2024 or later.  Many small businesses are already out of business.   As of now, job losses are expected to continue and the unemployment rate is expected to climb even higher.

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