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A restaurant sits empty in the United Airlines terminal at San Francisco International Airport. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Another 5.2 million Americans have filed unemployment claims

Janet Nguyen Apr 16, 2020
A restaurant sits empty in the United Airlines terminal at San Francisco International Airport. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Another 5.2 million Americans have filed unemployment claims, the third largest number on record.

More than 6.6 million Americans filed claims for the week ending April 4, which the Labor Department revised up by 9,000 from the figure it initially released. Over the past month, about 22 million Americans have filed jobless claims.

Earlier this week, the International Monetary Fund said we’re on the brink of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

*Figures have been seasonally adjusted.

The state with the highest number of unemployment claims last week was California, which has consistently topped the list. However, the number of claims in the state since the week of April 4 decreased, with the Labor Department noting that there were “fewer layoffs in the construction and manufacturing industries.”

*Figures have not been seasonally adjusted. Week of April 11 claims are “advance” claims, which are reported by the state liable for paying the unemployment compensation. Meanwhile, previous weeks’ reported claims reflect claimants by state of residence.

States are the ones who are paying out these benefits and they’re strained, reported Marketplace’s Meghan McCarty Carino.

Jared Walczak, a researcher with the Tax Foundation, said federal figures indicate some of the hardest hit states, like California, New York and Texas, could be running low on funds in a matter of weeks.

Colorado had the highest percent increase, with its unemployment claims rising more than 126%. Last week, the state had more than 105,000 residents file for unemployment benefits.

*Figures have not been seasonally adjusted. Calculations based on the percentage increase between advance claims for week ending April 11 and week ending April 4.

These figures show a stark contrast with Colorado’s unemployment data just a few months ago: in December, Colorado’s unemployment rate reached a historic low of 2.5%.

In an address on April 6, Governor Jared Polis extended the state’s stay-at-home order until at least April 26.

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

What are the details of President Joe Biden’s coronavirus relief plan?

The $1.9 trillion plan would aim to speed up the vaccine rollout and provide financial help to individuals, states and local governments and businesses. Called the “American Rescue Plan,” the legislative proposal would meet Biden’s goal of administering 100 million vaccines by the 100th day of his administration, while advancing his objective of reopening most schools by the spring. It would also include $1,400 checks for most Americans. Get the rest of the specifics here.

What kind of help can small businesses get right now?

A new round of Paycheck Protection Program loans recently became available for pandemic-ravaged businesses. These loans don’t have to be paid back if rules are met. Right now, loans are open for first-time applicants. And the application has to go through community banking organizations — no big banks, for now, at least. This rollout is designed to help business owners who couldn’t get a PPP loan before.

What does the hiring situation in the U.S. look like as we enter the new year?

New data on job openings and postings provide a glimpse of what to expect in the job market in the coming weeks and months. This time of year typically sees a spike in hiring and job-search activity, says Jill Chapman with Insperity, a recruiting services firm. But that kind of optimistic planning for the future isn’t really the vibe these days. Job postings have been lagging on the job search site Indeed. Listings were down about 11% in December compared to a year earlier.

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