Economy

5.2 million more Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week

Additional 5.2 million Americans filed for unemployment during second week of April

5.2 million more Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week

The total number of applications exceeded 22 million in four weeks

The coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the American economy, with 5.2 million more people applied for unemployment benefits last week, the Labor Department said Thursday..

With this data, the total number of applications exceeded 22 million in four weeks, and growth is expected to continue in the coming weeks as more companies lay off workers amid deepening economic crisis..

There hasn’t been a comparable level of losses in the American labor market since the Great Depression of the 1930s..

Some economists estimate that GDP contracted 10.8 percent in the first quarter – the largest decline since World War II.

Last week there were fewer applications for benefits than in the previous two weeks, when more than 6 million people applied for benefits. This may indicate some stabilization.

However, it remains unclear how long companies will remain closed or operate in a restricted mode..

President Donald Trump urges economic activity to resume by May 1 in states with relatively low numbers of infections.

However, leaders from several of the largest corporations warned him on Wednesday that more testing is needed to ensure employees returning to work are not sick..

Despite more layoffs, US Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin last week expressed hope that American companies could return to work in May..

Trump’s numerous conservative supporters urge him to open up the economy as soon as possible.

Hundreds of people took part in a protest in the Michigan capital on Wednesday against Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s order not to leave their homes..

In March, the US unemployment rate was 4.4 percent, but this figure is based mainly on data from the beginning of the month, that is, before the start of the mass layoffs. Data for April will be published only in early May.

Some American economists predict that 25 to 40 million people will lose their jobs by July. The total U.S. workforce is 165 million.

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