Hawaii, Kentucky, Michigan, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Nevada and Georgia experienced the most concentrated peaks of jobless claims since mid-March, when employers started laying off thousands of workers through the Covid-19 epidemic.
States have experienced the most intense increases in claims by controlling for differences in the size of each state’s workforce. Data refer to jobless deposits until the end of last week.
State government closings by state governments in recent weeks have fueled the number of Americans claiming unemployment benefits. Last week, new jobless claims totaled 4.427 million, the Labor Department announced on Thursday.
Combined with the previous four unemployment claims reports, the number of Americans who filed for unemployment in the previous five weeks is 26.45 million. This number exceeds the 22.442 million jobs added to the US economy since November 2009, when employers began to reintroduce jobs into the economy after the Great Recession.
And although last week’s 4.4 million claims were a slight slowdown from the previous week’s data, economists warn that it will likely take some time before the official unemployment rate peaks.
“In the past five weeks, more than 24 million workers have applied for unemployment insurance benefits. … This means that more than one in seven workers asked [unemployment insurance] “Wrote Heidi Shierholz, former chief economist of the Labor Department under President Obama and director of policy at the Economic Policy Institute.
“All other things being equal, job losses of this magnitude would translate into an unemployment rate of 18.3 percent,” she added. “However, the official unemployment rate, when published, is unlikely to reflect all layoffs associated with the coronavirus. This is because unemployed workers are counted as unemployed only if they are actively looking for work. “
In terms of unadjusted absolute unemployment claims for the state’s population, California led the way with more than 3.3 million initial unemployment claims filed in the past five weeks.
Pennsylvania took second place with 1.5 million claims while New York saw 1.4 million. Texas, Michigan, Florida and Georgia have registered claims of 1.3 million, 1.2 million, 1.2 million and 1.1 million, respectively, in the past five weeks.
“We face an unforeseen enemy and today’s report continues to show that times are difficult for many Americans who want to return to work,” White House spokeswoman Judd Deere told CNBC.
“Because of President Trump’s leadership and the commitment of the American people to slow the spread, we are on a responsible, data-driven path to reopen America,” he added. “As we begin the phased approach, the administration continues to act quickly to provide the CARES benefits that workers, families and small businesses across the country need. “
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