Unemployment Claims Continue Going Down, But Still Reach Staggering Numbers

(RightWingAmericans.Com)- Unemployment numbers continue to hit staggering levels week after week.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, another 3.8 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits for the week that ended April 25. That number uses seasonal adjustments. Without the adjustments, it was still 3.5 million people.
Over the past six weeks, there have been 30.3 million first-time unemployment claims, as businesses have been forced to close or cut back significantly due to the coronavirus. Even those that have been allowed to remain open have dealt with staggering drops in revenue.
Since mid-March, roughly 18.6% of the entire U.S. labor force has been laid off or furloughed.
In an “encouraging” sign, first-time unemployment claims have dropped every week since peaking in the last week of March, when 6.9 million people filed. While this may be a sign that things aren’t getting worse, it’s still a dire situation since so many people are still filing for unemployment.
As the director of economic research at the Indeed Hiring Lab, Nick Bunker, said:
“A number in the low millions may be a relief compared to earlier this month, but it’s objectively a horrifying statistic.”
While some economists are optimistic that the job market will start to rebound a bit in coming weeks as states begin to relax coronavirus-related restrictions, others warn that other sectors of the economy that haven’t been directly affected yet will soon be.
Most of the workers who have been directly affected thus far are employed by retailers, restaurants, hotels and other businesses in the travel/tourism sector. In a trickle-down-like effect, though, some experts are predicting that white-collar jobs will start seeing significant cutbacks as well.
In addition, the oil market’s complete devastation over the last few weeks may lead to some companies filing for bankruptcy, which could significantly impact jobs in the energy industry as a whole.
The hardest-hit states thus far have been Georgia, Kentucky and Hawaii. In Hawaii, roughly 29% of all workers have filed for first-time unemployment claims since mid-March. That’s because a large portion of the state’s economy is based around tourism, which has grinded to a complete halt with the coronavirus pandemic.
These unemployed workers can take solace in the fact that the federal government is trying to help them through these tough times. As part of the CARES Act, Congress added an extra $600 per week, for up to four months, on top of whatever they would get from state unemployment benefits. The issue, though, is that the state systems are so overloaded — and outdated — that crashes have occurred, and checks are slow to make their way into households.
The latest reported unemployment rate of 4.4% doesn’t truly reflect how bad the job market it. That’s because it’s a trailing statistic, and doesn’t accurately reflect up-to-date times.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics will be releasing its April jobs report next week, and many expect the unemployment rate will climb all the way to 14% or above.