Jobless Claims in the U.S. Hit 30 Million Over the Last 6 Weeks

More than 3.84 million people filed initial unemployment claims in the week ending April 25, bringing the total figure over the last six weeks to more than 30.3 million, the U.S. Department of Labor said Thursday.

The figure, which factors in seasonal adjustments, was down 603,000 from the week before, though the total numbers continued to climb as the coronavirus pandemic shut down the economy and led to layoffs and furloughs across multiple industries.

Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had wanted the week’s numbers to come in slightly lower, but the 3.84 million total does mark the lowest level since March 21, according to CNBC.

“A number in the low millions may be a relief compared to earlier this month, but it’s objectively a horrifying statistic,” Nick Bunker, director of economic research at the Indeed Hiring Lab, told CNN Business.

With the figures now surpassing 30 million, it means that about 18.6 percent of the U.S. workforce is out of a job, according to CNN.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics will release its official jobs report for April next week, and the outlet reports that it’s expected to show that the U.S. unemployment rate surged to 14 percent for the month.

The number would reportedly be the highest since the monthly data series started in 1948, though still not as a high as the Great Depression, when the unemployment rate peaked at 24.9 percent in 1933.

The Economic Policy Institute estimated that the current number of people filing unemployment claims may be undercounting by as many as 12 million people, considering those who are eligible but not getting benefits “due to the inability to file or other roadblocks,” according to CNBC.

As of Thursday afternoon, there have been more than 1 million cases and 60,945 deaths attributed to coronavirus in the U.S., according to The New York Times.

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