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Corona virus crisis officially puts 17 million Americans out of work

by - 04-09-2020

"Why Coronavirus crisis officially puts 17 million Americans out of work"

6.6 million people applied for unemployment benefits last week as the corona virus crisis put nearly 17 million Americans out of work in just three weeks, new federal data show.

Last week’s seasonally adjusted total added to an unprecedented surge in initial jobless claims as the pace of filings barely slowed from a record-shattering 6.8 million in the prior week, the US Department of Labor said Thursday.

The numbers suggest more than 10 percent of the American workforce has already been sidelined as the viral pandemic ground the US economy to a halt.

“In just three weeks, COVID-19 has triggered a jobs crisis that is truly unthinkable in its scale and scope, stretching from coast-to-coast and impacting service jobs that once seemed immune to economic ups and downs,” said Andrew Stettner, a fellow at the Century Foundation think tank specializing in unemployment insurance.

The massive jump in jobless claims started with 3.3 million filings in the week ending March 21. But bleeding isn’t likely to stop any time soon — economists expect payrolls to shed 20 million jobs in April as the unemployment rate shoots up to 15 percent.

“The shutdown of American economy continues and we expect Great Depression job losses before the worst is over,” said Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at MUFG Union Bank.

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