May 8, 2020
A further 3.2 million Americans sought unemployment benefits last week as the economic toll from the coronavirus pandemic continued to mount.
The new applications brought the total number of jobless claims since mid-March to 33.3 million- or about 20% of the US workforce.
The number of new claims reported each week by the Department of Labor has subsided since hitting a peak of 6.9 million in March.
But they remain extraordinarily high.
And the number of people collecting benefits has continued to rise, despite recent moves to start re-opening in some parts of the country.
“The significant rise in continuing claims … is a little disappointing since it suggests few people are being recalled to work,” said Paul Ashworth, chief US economist at Capital Economics.