May 14, 2020
The number may be declining slightly as the country unlocks the economy, but new data from the U.S. Department of Labor reports that more than 2.98 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits for the week ended May 9 — bringing the seven-week total due to the economic impact of the coronavirus to more than 36 million.
The total is 195,000 fewer claims filed than during the previous week. The four-week average for claims filed topped 3.6 million — a decrease of 564,000 claims from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 7,000 from 4.17 million to 4.18 million.
The adjusted unemployment rate was 15.7% for the week ended May 2, an increase of 0.3 percentage point from the previous week’s revised rate.
“As many states and localities reopen for business, hiring should resume and the economy should begin to revive. Still, the challenge for policymakers is to minimize permanent job losses where possible,” John Stoltzfus, chief investment strategist at Oppenheimer Asset Management, wrote in a May 8 note.
The pandemic has resulted in 1.39 million cases in the United States and 84,100 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.