In other words, 1 in 4 American workers applied for unemployment assistance in the past 10 weeks.
“Unemployment claims made during the coronavirus crisis have already exceeded 37 million claims made in the 18 months of the Great Recession,” said Daniel Zhao, senior economist at Glassdoor, in a note. ” [T]he labor market remains in a deep hole from which it will have to exit. “
Some 2.4 million workers applied for regular unemployment insurance during the week ending May 16, down slightly from the previous week. But almost as many – 2.2 million – asked for help through Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, a new federal program for the self-employed and concert workers.
The self-employed were not counted in previous weekly unemployment figures until last week. The actual number of unemployed self-employed workers is probably even higher, as not all states currently report their AUP payment figures, Noted economist Heidi Shierholz.
The number of first applications for traditional unemployment assistance has declined steadily each week since the peak in late March, indicating that the wave of layoffs is slowing. However, the numbers remain staggering by historical standards, demonstrating that serious economic difficulties are widespread even as the majority of American states reopen their economies.
” [R]Opening up the economy doesn’t necessarily equate to solid rehiring, “wrote Andy Stettner, senior researcher at the Century Foundation. While 35 states reopened last week, nine of them have actually seen an increase in the number of new workers declaring unemployment benefits, he said.
“The unemployment rate is now 14.7% – a figure I never expected to see in my lifetime, and which is sure to get worse before it gets better”, John Williams, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said Thursday morning.
“It is likely that the latest figures do not reveal the extent of the financial devastation faced by millions of American families. The data do not capture those who have had to quit their jobs, either for their own health or to care for their loved ones. “Said Williams.
Congress Budget Watchdog Predicts Unemployment Will Stay– higher than its peak of the Great Recession of 2009.
According to Wall Street analysts, the speed with which the economy is starting to recover and the speed of recovery is largely dependent on the government’s economic stimulus policy and the pace of medical progress against the new coronavirus.
“It is not impossible to imagine that the economy will come back to life once a vaccine becomes widely available,” Pantheon Macroeconomics wrote in a note.
thethis allowed many people to continue to support themselves despite the lack of work at the end of July. Democrats in Congress have lobbied for more unemployment assistance, while Republican lawmakers have called for federal aid to be cut while closed employers reopen across the country.