Unemployment Claims Exceed Expectations Again, 30+ Million Jobless Since Shutdowns

RALEIGH – The weekly firs time jobless claims were announced Thursday morning, exceeding already dire projections once again. The latest figures show 3.84 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits for the first time over the last week; consensus expectations from economists were for 3.5 million claims.

While the number of first time claims has been decreasing relative to the 6.87 million figure reported three weeks ago, weekly claims are still expected to total in the million for weeks more. The total toll of coronavirus-related shutdown policies is now runs at 30.3 million that have lost jobs, and millions more that are underemployed as a result of the forced economic contraction.

From CNBC:

“[…] Continuing claims rose to just shy of 18 million, a rise of 2.2 million from the previous week.

The four-week moving average, which smooths volatility, jumped to 13.3 million, an increase of 3.7 million from the previous week’s average. […]

The Economic Policy Institute earlier this week estimated that the current claims level probably undercounts by as much as 12 million those who are eligible for benefits but not getting them due to the inability to file or other roadblocks. […]”

So, factoring in another 10-12 million jobless, the damage from reactionary shutdown policies exceeds 40 million in the last six weeks or so. This is nearly FIVE TIMES the jobs job losses during the Great Recession.

States and communities around the country are beginning the effort to open up, restore economic freedoms, and rescue themselves from the self-inflicted pain that resulted from restricting people’s freedom to make a living or run a business.

In North Carolina shutdown jobless claims are approaching 1 million with nearly $1 billion paid out in claims so far. Reopening plans announced by the governor only begin to consider relaxing some edicts starting May 8, but will likely drag on for weeks or months more as officials wait to satisfy arbitrary metrics like case counts.

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