Another 4.4 Million Americans File Jobless Claims; Unemployment Reaching Great Depression Levels

New statistics from the Labor Department find more than 4.4 million Americans filed jobless claims in the week ending April 18. The tally, which was lower than last week’s revised 5.5 million claims filed, underscores the ongoing impact the coronavirus is having on the economy — and why so many local governments want to re-start business operations.

Indeed, with 22 million jobless claims filed over the previous three weeks, the unprecedented rise in claims since March has driven the unemployment rate near 20% — just 5% less than during the Great Depression in the early 1930s.

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“Today’s unemployment report shows continued, elevated unemployment claims caused by the coronavirus pandemic,” Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia said in a statement.

Scalia said the federal government would continue assisting states with enhanced unemployment benefits under the CARES Act, with 44 States now paying the $600 additional weekly benefit provided by the Act.

The Department also continues to implement the paid leave requirements of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, and has now initiated hundreds of cases to ensure workers receive what they’re entitled to under the law.

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“As American businesses look to open up again under the guidelines presented by the White House last week, the Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration will continue to provide guidance and support to protect workers and ensure safe workplaces, backed up as necessary by appropriate use of OSHA’s enforcement authorities,” Scalia said.

Another 5.2 Million Jobless Claims Filed Last Week, Pushing Pandemic-Related Total to 22 Million

New jobless data April 16 from the U.S. Department of Labor found that 5.3 million Americans filed for unemployment last week, bringing the four-week total during the coronavirus pandemic to 22 million. The losses reportedly equal all the jobs gained since the 2008 Great Recession.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 8.2% for the week ending April 4, an increase of 3.1 percentage points from the previous week’s rate. This marks the highest level of the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in the history of the seasonally adjusted series. The previous high was 7% in May of 1975.

“There’s nowhere to hide,” Diane Swonk, chief economist at Grant Thornton in Chicago, told The New York Times. “This is the deepest, fastest, most broadly based recession we’ve ever seen.”

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On the positive side, Europe is slowly re-opening its economy with carmakers Volkswagen, Daimler and Volvo starting up factory production, albeit with safety precautions, including workers wearing safety masks, social distancing, etc.

President Trump has hinted he would like to see parts of the country running again by the beginning of May — a move some state governors don’t agree with. In Forest City, Iowa, Winnebago Industries is set to resume production May 4. The RV manufacturer April 15 laid off 79 employees. The company employs more than 2,000 people.

Amazon founder/CEO Jeff Bezos said the company is working to incorporate mandatory coronavirus testing at its warehouse facilities. In a note to shareholders, Bezos said regular testing in the population could help jumpstart the economy. The Wall Street Journal reported the e-commerce behemoth would cancel Mother’s Day and Father’s Day promotions to decrease demands on warehouse employees.

Another 6.6 Million Jobless Claims Filed; Unemployment Rate Highest Since Great Depression

Another 6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits for the week ended April 4, according to new statistics from the Department of Labor. The tally is actually 261,000 less than the number of people who filed in the previous week.

This marks the highest level of seasonally adjusted insured unemployment in the history of the seasonally adjusted series. The previous high was 6,635,000 in May of 2009 following the Great Recession.

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The newest tally brings to nearly 17 million who have filed for unemployment over the past three weeks due to economic fallout from the spread of the coronavirus.

Economists say the country’s unemployment rate is the highest since the Great Depression in 1929.

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Weekly Unemployment Claims Double to Record 6.6 Million

In another stunning statistic due to the spread of the coronavirus in the United States, a record 6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits for the week ended March 28, according to new data from the Department of Labor. The figure doubled the previous record of 3.3 million claims filed through March 21.

The Labor department said the tally marked “the highest level of seasonally adjusted initial claims in the history of the seasonally adjusted series.”

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Claims are being filed across all industries, including entertainment, retail, hospitality and service.

The previous week’s level was revised up by 24,000 from 3,283,000 to 3,307,000. The 4-week moving average was 2,612,000, an increase of 1,607,750 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 6,000 from 998,250 to 1,004,250.

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Another COVID-19 Tally: Weekly Unemployment Claims Reach Record 3.3 Million — Highest Since 1982

With movie theaters, TV production, studios and related entertainment industries shuttered due to the coronavirus pandemic, the number of people in the United States filing unemployment claims nearly topped 3.3 million for the week ended March 21, according to new data from the Department of Labor.

By comparison, 282,000 people filed for unemployment in the previous week. It was the highest number of jobless claims filed since October 1982 when 695,000 people filed claims.

“Nearly every state providing comments cited the COVID-19 virus impacts,” the agency said in a statement.

The DOL said state quarantine mandates affected industries broadly, particularly hospitality and food services. Additional industries impacted included health care and social assistance, arts, entertainment and recreation, transportation and warehousing, and manufacturing.

“This marks the highest level of seasonally adjusted initial claims in the history of the seasonally adjusted series,” the government said.