Jobless claims: Another 2.438 million Americans file for unemployment benefits

Andrew Cummings
May 24, 2020

In total over the past nine weeks, a combined 476,613 initial claims have been filed between the regular and federal unemployment programs - 405,800 of which were regular initial claims, the CDLE said.

The continuing stream of heavy job cuts reflects an economy that is sinking into the worst recession since the Great Depression.

Georgia's labor force was down by 281,525 to reach a total of 4,875,448, the lowest the labor force has been in more than four years, while also reaching an all-time low in the labor force participation. This number has decreased by 606,671 over the year.

About 2.4 million Americans filed initial unemployment benefit claims last week, the Labor Department said Thursday, as the health and economic crisis sparked by the coronavirus ruptures a growing number of industries. It's a drop from the previous week where more than 69,000 people filed for unemployment.

Almost 2.5 million people have filed unemployment insurance claims in the three states since mid-March.

Continuing claims, which lags initial jobless claims data by one week, totaled a record 25.07 million in the week ending May 9 following 22.59 million in the previous week.

One of the people out of work is Alexis Weber, who was bartending at a small restaurant east of downtown Atlanta when she was laid off.

On top of that, there were 54,460 initial unemployment claims filed last week in MI, down 706 from the week before. But state unemployment systems were overwhelmed by the load and backlogs developed. States have begun to relax restrictions to varying degrees, offering job opportunities for many who found themselves in the firing line. Florida, which has received more than 2 million total claims since March 15, has about 200,000 filings in its queue awaiting verification.

Meanwhile, 1.9 million Pennsylvanians have sought unemployment benefits since mid-March, nearly one-third of the labor force in April.

"The sharp rise in continuing claims the week before illustrates that the easing of lockdowns in many states has not yet resulted in any large-scale recall to work for those now on temporary layoff", Capital Economics said in a note Thursday.

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