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.

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.