U.S. Labor Department: An Additional 6.6 Million Americans Filed For Unemployment Insurance

The Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the highest unemployment rates since the Great Depression of the 1920s with numbers increasing more rapidly than at other time in the past. Just this week over 6.6 million people filed for Unemployment Insurance pushing the overall national jobless rate to over 10% and it’s just beginning.

The U.S. Department of Labor reports that Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Initial claims were 6,606,000 for the week ending 4/4 (-261,000). Insured unemployment was 7,455,000 for the week ending 3/28 (+4,396,000).

According to NPR: “The number of people seeking unemployment benefits shot up again last week, as 6.6 million more people filed initial claims, the Labor Department said Thursday. About 16.8 million have filed in the past three weeks, and analysts expect the numbers to keep rising. In the prior week, ending March 28, a revised 6.9 million people filed first-time claims. Jobless claims have skyrocketed in recent weeks, as countless restaurants, hotels, factories and offices have been forced to shut down to combat the spread of the coronavirus.”

While the Associated Press (AP) reports: “A staggering 16.8 million Americans have been thrown onto the unemployment rolls in just three weeks, underscoring the terrifying speed with which the coronavirus outbreak has brought world economies to a near standstill. Numbers released Thursday by the world’s largest economy showed that 6.6 million American workers applied for unemployment benefits last week, on top of more than 10 million in the two weeks before that. That means more than 1 in 10 U.S. workers have been forced out of a job since the crisis took hold. The real numbers could be even higher because the surge of jobless claims has overwhelmed state unemployment offices around the country, and some people have been unable to get through by telephone or website. And still more job cuts are expected.”

The U.S. unemployment rate could hit 15% — a number last seen at the tail end of the Depression — when the figures for April come out.