Another 2.4 Million People Filed Jobless Claims Last Week; Upping 9-Week Total Past 38 Million

The economy may be reopening slowly around the country, but people being out of work continues. New data from the U.S. Labor Department revealed that more than 2.4 million people filed unemployment claims for the week ended May 16 — bringing the nine week total during the coronavirus pandemic to 38.6 million.

The government said the unemployment rate was 17.2% for the week ended May 9, an increase of 1.7 percentage points from the previous week.

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Torsten Slok, chief economist at Deutsche Bank Securities, thinks the unemployment rate in May will reach 20%, compared with 14.7% in April.

“The hemorrhaging has continued,” Slok told The New York Times.

Indeed, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, citing comments from Universal Pictures chairwoman Donna Langley, May 20 disclosed that the vast majority of Hollywood’s 890,000 studio and television employees are not working due to COVID-19 shutdowns.

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“Anyone listening to yesterday’s meeting heard loud and clear that employees and businesses are suffering,” Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors chair Kathryn Barger said in a briefing.

Studios are banking on movie theaters re-opening in Los Angeles and New York in July, driven by Christopher Nolan’s Tenet (Warner Bros.) on July 17 and Disney’s Mulan on July 24.

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