16.6 million have sought U.S. jobless aid since coronavirus

Marco Green
April 9, 2020

The figure compared with a median forecast of 5.5 million, and the prior week's upwardly revised 6.87 million.

The US labour force reached a high of 165.6 million people in February this year, meaning the unemployment claims in just three weeks amount to over 10% of that number.

As wide swaths of the economy shut down, workers have been laid off across industries with unprecedented speed.

Surgeon General Jerome Adams and the director of the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention are both voicing optimism that the United States' coronavirus death toll can end up lower than the projection previously shared by the White House.

Altogether, more than 14 million American workers have sought aid in the form of jobless benefits since mid March.

As the coronavirus nears an expected peak, new unemployment claims numbered in the millions for the third consecutive week, as 6.6 million Americans filed for benefits - the same number as the previous week.

Georgia had the second-highest number of unadjusted claims last week, at about 388,000.MI was next at about 385,000, followed by NY with 345,000 and Texas with 314,000.Florida had 170,000 new claims.

Economists predicted Thursday's report would show about 5.2 million unemployment claims this week as state agencies scrambled to process the massive number of applications that has jammed phone lines and caused government websites to crash.

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