The US Labor Department reported on Friday a record number of jobless claims which surged to 3.28 million. The number shatters the Great Recession peak of 665,000 in March 2009 and the all-time mark of 695,000 in October 1982.
The surge in unemployment comes amid a global economic slowdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic, as businesses across the US are on lockdown in an effort to contain the outbreak.
March will go down as one of the most bizarre months in history: socially and economically. US initial jobless claims rose 3.3 million last week, almost five times as much as the previous record back in 1982. pic.twitter.com/gRi3oGfNse
— jeroen blokland (@jsblokland) March 26, 2020
The number of claims is much worse than expected as economists surveyed by Dow Jones projected 1.5 million new claims. Individual forecasts on Wall Street anticipated a much higher number.
According to statistics, the four-week moving average, which smooths out weekly distortions, was 1,731,000. That is an increase of 27,500 from the previous week’s revised average.
Prior to the pandemic, which has forced many businesses to shut down, initial claims had been around the low 200,000s each week, reflecting a strong job market.
Economists say the US economy could fall into a recession in the second quarter, before recovering later this year after the spread of coronavirus slows.
“There is going to be a lot of hardship for a lot of people,” Gus Faucher, chief economist of the PNC Financial Services Group, told the Guardian, adding that he expects to see a “solid rebound” by the summer if the virus is contained by then.
The LameStream Media is the dominant force in trying to get me to keep our Country closed as long as possible in the hope that it will be detrimental to my election success. The real people want to get back to work ASAP. We will be stronger than ever before!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 25, 2020
Despite the worsening situation with the spreading virus, US President Donald Trump said this week that he would like the country “opened up and just raring to go by Easter.”
On Wednesday, Trump tweeted: “The real people want to get back to work ASAP. We will be stronger than ever before!”
Statistics showed that there are now almost 69,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the US and 1,037 reported deaths, up from 302 last weekend.
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