As of last week we were right at 10 million unemployment claims, with 3.3 million the first week of this economic shutdown and 6.6 million the second week. This week the unemployment claims have spiked another 6.6 million, putting us over 16 million now:
CNBC – Jobless rolls continued to swell due to the coronavirus shutdown, with 6.6 million Americans filing first-time unemployment claims last week, the Labor Department reported Thursday.
That brings the total claims over the past three weeks to more than 16 million. If you compare those claims to the 151 million people on payrolls in the last monthly employment report, that means the U.S. has lost 10% of the workforce in three weeks.
More bad news. The second week’s unemployment claims have been revised UPWARD, from 6.6 to 6.9 million:
The most recent jobless number represents a decline of 261,000 from the previous week, which was revised up by 219,000 to nearly 6.9 million.
The coronavirus stimulus bill has actually made the unemployment claims worse:
The ongoing surge in filings for unemployment insurance has been exacerbated by the expansion of those who can file claim. The $2.2 trillion federal coronavirus relief bill enacted last month has expanded the group to include the self-employed and independent contractors.
California, New York and Michigan saw the largest increase in claims last week. Those states are also among the hardest hit from the coronavirus pandemic.
Most of that employment decline came in restaurants and drinking establishments, although health care and social assistance also took a hit. A more representative number of the actual impact to employment came through the Labor Department’s survey of households, which indicated a drop of nearly 3 million from the employment ranks.
Lastly, the Fed has announced a new round of loans totaling 2.3 trillion to help small businesses:
Moments after the jobless claims report was released, the Federal Reserve announced plans to inject another $2.3 billion into businesses and revenue-pinched governments. Stock futures jumped after the Fed’s announcement.
In its announcement Thursday, the Fed said the programs would total up to $2.3 trillion and include the Payroll Protection Program and other measures aimed at getting money to small businesses and bolstering municipal finances with a $500 billion lending program.
I have a feeling it’s going to take us a long time to recover from the economic crisis caused by this virus. I hope I’m wrong.