Jobless claims released Thursday (April 9) show that the coronavirus triggered another 6.606 million unemployment claims for the week ending April 4.
The latest numbers from the Department of Labor reflect an increase of 187,538 (or 3.1 percent) from the week ending March 28. During the same time period last year, 196,071 filed for unemployment.
Figures for the week ending March 28 were revised up by 219,000 from 6.648 million to 6.867 million.
Unemployment filings haven’t been close to being this high since the financial crisis. The previous high was 6.64 in May of 2009.
The biggest increases for the week ending March 28 were in California, up 871,992; New York, up 286,596; Michigan, up 176,329; Florida, up 154,171; Georgia, up 121,680; Texas, up 120,759; and New Jersey, up 90,438. The largest decreases were in Nevada, down 20,356; Rhode Island, down 8,047; and Minnesota, 6,678.
Some 50 million jobs could be on the line due to coronavirus-related layoffs, economists have said. That is roughly one-third of all the positions in the country. The figure is based on a calculation of positions that are deemed non-essential and can’t be done remotely.
“These numbers are off the charts,” Michelle Meyer, chief U.S. economist of Bank of America Merrill Lynch, told USA Today. “It tells you about the strain in corporate America as a result of COVID.”
The numbers are likely to be in the millions for the next several weeks, Meyer said.
Economists said the economy has entered a recession and it will hit especially hard in the second quarter, with estimated double-digit declines in GDP. The third quarter will be a little less impacted and things should start rebounding from the fourth, economists predict.