Over 5 Million More Workers File for Unemployment

Jobless claim filings may be peaking

Roy Maurer By Roy Maurer April 16, 2020
man just laid off

Another 5.2 million U.S. workers filed for new unemployment benefits during the week ending April 11, bringing the four-week total since March 15 to 22 million workers. Some economists say the unprecedented surge in unemployment claims could be peaking. Layoffs and furloughs were initially damaging to the transportation, restaurant, hospitality and retail sectors, but have since struck a wider range of occupations, including professional services, public-sector workers and the media. The weekly jobless claims report is the most-timely economic indicator for measuring the impact of the coronavirus on the U.S. economy.

"The waves of millions of workers filing for unemployment insurance continued last week," said Nick Bunker, an economist at the Indeed Hiring Lab. "While this wave may be slightly smaller than the previous two weeks, the labor market is still being battered by a historic storm. Whether these workers will be recalled to their former jobs or get hired at new ones is a matter of when the public feels safe returning to a semblance of normalcy. Only then can businesses start to ramp up hiring and the number of jobless workers can start to fall."

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