More Than 33 Million Americans File Jobless Claims in 7 Weeks Even as Pace Slows

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In Brief
  • US jobless claims over the last seven weeks have reached more than 33 million.

  • Last week saw 3.2 million individuals appeal for benefits.

  • The number of weekly claims has almost halved since its coronavirus peak of more than 6 million.

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The US Department of Labor has just released figures for the number of jobless claims last week. A total of 3.2 million people applied for out of work benefits over the seven-day period ending May 2.

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The running total for the last seven weeks now stands at over 33 million. Despite being another week of claims well in excess of all pre-coronavirus records, there are signs that the situation is improving.

Fifth Week of Falling Jobless Claims

As BeInCrypto has previously reported, the coronavirus has taken a staggering toll on the US jobs market. Businesses closures across the nation have resulted in more people out of work than ever before.

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Last week, another 3.2 million individuals were forced to appeal for unemployment benefits. Although still considerably greater than the 1982 pre-coronavirus record number of claims (700,000), it is the fifth consecutive week that the numbers have fallen.

The current all-time high in unemployment claims occurred in the week ending March 28. A total of 6,648,000 claims were made in just seven days.

Today’s figures are less than half that number, and each of the five weeks since then has seen a reduction in the number of claims. This suggests that the worst of the job market woes may now be in the past.

The unemployment figures come just a day ahead of the US Labor Department’s April report. Like current unemployment figures, economists are expecting it to be one of the worst reports ever.

A Long Road to Recovery

Although optimistic that the numbers will continue to fall from here, many do not expect fewer than 1 million weekly claims for at least another month. This would still represent a massive increase on the pre-coronavirus record unemployment claims but would be a vast improvement on those reported today. [Business Insider]

Some economists believe that the numbers will remain high because of backlogs in overwhelmed systems. Unemployment offices are not used to such a sudden surge in their use.

Others point to the slow opening of states underway, which will see some individuals return to work. [BBC] Recovery is not expected to be rapid, even with lockdown rules slackening. Despite President Trump encouraging the reopening of the US economy, it will be a slow process. Consumer confidence and spending do not return overnight, particularly following a crisis of such magnitude.

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A former professional gambler, Rick first found Bitcoin in 2013 whilst researching alternative payment methods to use at online casinos. After transitioning to writing full-time in 2016, he put a growing passion for Bitcoin to work for him. He has since written for a number of digital asset publications.

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