The government revealed another 5.2 million people had lost their jobs in a week, taking the total to apply for unemployment benefits in the past month to 22 million. It’s slightly down from last week’s 6.6 million and means that almost all the jobs created since the recent financial crisis ended have lost in the previous month.
A staggering number of people are out of work in the United States as a result of the corona virus pandemic. Before March, the record initial jobless claims total was below 700,000, and the idea of 22 million people losing their jobs in a month would have been unimaginable. And, with many states expected to extend orders to stay at home, hourly workers are worried about how they will pay their bills.
As we fully know the current state of the labor market with mass waves of layoffs, the critical question turns to how many of these people rehired when the economy starts to reopen,” said Peter Boockvar, chief investment officer at the Bleakley Group. “We can assume it will take a long time for that to happen, but hopefully we’re getting closer to at least getting started.”
The four-week moving average, which during regular times helpful in smoothing out weekly volatility in the numbers, jumped to 6.066 million, an increase of 2.568 million the previous week. Stock market futures gained on the news and pointed to a slight gain at the market open. There was some good news in the data when looking at the numbers not adjusted for seasonal factors, which some economists say is unnecessary given the current unusual conditions.
In most states, self-employed, freelance, and gig workers aren’t yet able to file applications for unemployment aid under new rules enacted by the federal government’s $2.2 trillion economic relief package. That legislation extended eligibility assistance for those categories of workers for the first time. But most states have to establish new systems to handle their jobless claims. For more business news click here.