Around 26 million Americans likely sought unemployment advantages during the last five weeks, confirming that all the jobs generated during the longest employment boom in U.S. history have been wiped out in about a month as the novel coronavirus savages the economy.
Thursday’s weekly unemployment claims report from the Labor Division will add to a growing pile of more and more bleak economic data. It’s going to come amid rising protests against nationwide lockdowns to contain the spread of COVID-19, the potentially lethal respiratory sickness attributable to the virus.
President Trump, who’s seeking a second term in the White House in November’s general election, has been anxious to restart the hampered economy. Trump Wednesday lauded moves by a handful of Republican-led states to start reopening their economies, despite warnings from health consultants of a potential new spike in infections.
Initial claims for state jobless benefits probably totaled 4.2 million in the week ended April 18, based on a survey of economists. Nonetheless, a figure that would have been seen as unimaginably high less than two months in the past, it will be lower than the earlier week’s 5.245 million. Estimates in the survey for Thursday’s data have been as high as 5.50 million.
Based on the median estimation, last week’s claims data would bring the cumulative jobless benefits applications to roughly 26.2 million since the week ending March 21, representing some 16% of the labor force. The economy generated 22 million jobs during the employment boom, which began in September 2010 and abruptly ended in February this year.