X

Unprecedented Jobless Figures Go Even Higher

Another 2.4M sought help last week, bringing total in pandemic to nearly 39M
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 21, 2020 8:41 AM CDT

(Newser) – More than 2.4 million people applied for US unemployment benefits last week, per the AP. That means roughly 38.6 million people have now filed for jobless aid since the coronavirus forced businesses to shrink their workforces, the Labor Department said Thursday. The figure is slightly below last week's revised total of 2.7 million claims, notes the Wall Street Journal. An additional 2.2 million people sought aid under a new federal program for self-employed, contractor, and gig workers, who are now eligible for jobless aid for the first time. The continuing stream of job cuts reflects an economy that is sinking into the worst recession since the Great Depression. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated this week that the economy is shrinking at a 38% annual rate in the April-June quarter. That would be by far the worst quarterly contraction on record.

story continues below

Nearly half of Americans say that either their incomes have declined or they live with another adult who has lost pay through a job loss or reduced hours, the Census Bureau said in survey data released Wednesday. More than one-fifth of Americans said they had little or no confidence in their ability to pay the next month’s rent or mortgage on time, the survey found. During April, US employers shed 20 million jobs, eliminating a decade's worth of job growth in a single month. The unemployment rate reached 14.7%, the highest since the Depression. Millions of other people who were out of work weren't counted as unemployed because they didn’t look for a new job.

(Read more unemployment stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.