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Coronavirus: US unemployment rate, jobless claims by state

The impact of the spread of Covid-19 across the United States of America has seen a surge in jobless claims, doubling the previous week.

Estados UnidosUpdate:
March 31, 2020 - Houston, Texas USA: Houston After Dark - An empty Starbucks coffee shops in the Texas Medical Center during the outbreak of Covid-19, March 31, 2020  (F. Carter Smith/Contacto)
F. Carter Smith

The economic impact that the United States has seen with the accelerated increase in cases of coronavirus caused a record 3.28 million jobless claims in the country last week. Figures published on Thursday 2 April have blown that out of the water, with 6.65 million Americans applying for unemployment in the week ending 28 March.

Follow all the latest news related to the coronavirus crisis with our daily feed.

Unemployment in USA

The Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis had estimated that the second quarter of 2020 could see unemployment reach as high as 32%, which compares starkly to the 25% of the Great Depression of the 1930s. Another comparison worth doing is that the previous record high for US unemployment was set in 1982, with 695,000.

All this comes despite the packages of financial support that president Donald Trump has put out, although he will hope that this starts to show some results over the coming weeks.

The states most affected by unemployment

States across the nation have closed bars, restaurants, hotels, cinemas, gyms, and most non-essential establishments as they look to slow down the spread of the virus. Every state reported a rise this week.

Week ending 28 March 2020: Pennsylvannia was, once again, the state most affected, up 362,012 on the previous week's 378,900 applications. Ohio too were up around 2,000 at 189,263, while Massachusetts saw 141,003 claims.

A stable genius talks about the current crisis, as US President Donald J. Trump looks on.
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A stable genius talks about the current crisis, as US President Donald J. Trump looks on.Michael ReynoldsGTRES

Recent US unemployment news

Friday sees the Bureau of Labor Statistics release its first monthly job report since the coronavirus crisis began to impact on the United States. Although this is expected to show the first increase in unemployment in almost a decade, the numbers were put together before many large companies in the country began to reduce their workforce to deal with the situation.

Why unemployment rates matter

As the US Bureau of Labor Statistics states, when workers are unemployed, their household misses out on an income, and the whole nation then loses their contribution to the economy in terms of the goods or services that could have been produced.

Unemployed workers also have much lower purchasing power, meaning less is consumed, which can lead to unemployment for others. This creates a cascading effect that ripples through the economy.


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