Coronavirus US

Unemployment report in US: 7 May - millions more claim

Each Thursday since the coronavirus crisis forced US companies to close down operations, we have seen millions of Americans make their jobless claims.

Unemployment report in US: 7 May - millions more claim
JUSTIN LANE EFE

We have watched on as the unemployment figures have been announced each Thursday since the impact of the coronavirus pandemic started to be felt by businesses in the United States. The number of American workers filing for jobless claims has been staggering and, despite some parts of the country opening up again, we have seen a further 3.17 million more join the list up to 2 May.

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US unemployment update

The additional unemployed numbers suggest that there is a broadening of layoffs from consumer facing industries to other segments of the economy and this could remain elevated despite the easing of restrictions.


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In the first quarter of 2020 the economy shrank at the steepest rate since the Great Recession that ran from 2007-09. On Wednesday it was reported that private payrolls fell by a record 20.2 million in April, which set up the overall labor market for historic job losses last month.

“Even with the economy slowly starting to reopen, the number of unemployed should continue to rise sharply as governments, as well as businesses that have tried but not succeeded at holding the line, are now laying off workers,” said Joel Naroff, chief economist at Naroff Economics in Holland, Pennsylvania, via Reuters.

General Electric announced May 4, 2020, it will cut an additional 10,000 jobs from its aviation sector as the coronavirus pandemic decimates the industry, forcing companies to cancel orders. The cuts will be a mix of voluntary departures and layoffs and come after an initial wave of 2,600 job cuts in March, GE said in a statement.

“The pace of new claims for unemployment is slowing, but remains at levels unimaginable just a few months ago.”

The record high of 6.9 million jobless claims was hit at the end of March and since then the weekly numbers have been dropping, however they are still significant. Prior to today’s total for week ending 2 May, 3.84 million were filed in the previous week.

The total number of people who have made claims for unemployment benefits now sits at 33.5 million since 21 March, approximately 22% of the working age population.