Millions of Americans likely sought jobless benefits last week, suggesting a broadening of layoffs from consumer-facing industries to other segments of the economic system and will stay elevated even as many parts of the nation start to reopen.
The Labor Division’s weekly unemployment claims report Thursday will probably reinforce economists’ views of a protracted recovery of the economy, which is suffering from nationwide lockdowns to slow the spread of COVID-19, the respiratory illness brought on by the coronavirus.
The economy contracted in Q1 at the steepest tempo since the Great Depression from 2007-2009. The weekly claims report would follow news Wednesday that private payrolls plunged by a record 20.2 million last month, which set up the overall labor marketplace for historic job losses last month.
Some firms like Walmart and Amazon are hiring employees to meet the huge demand for online shopping. There may also be demand for truck drivers as well as staff at pharmacies, supermarkets, and courier firms.
Based on a survey of economists, nonfarm payrolls are estimated to have dropped by a historic 22 million in April, which might blow away the record 800,000 dive seen through the 2007-2009 recession. Employment fell by 701,000 jobs in March, ending a record streak of gains dating to September 2010.
The unemployment rate is seen leaping to 16% in April, which would shatter the post-World War Two record of 10.8% hit in November 1982. In March, the jobless rate jumped 0.9 percentage point, the biggest month-to-month change from January 1975 to 4.4%.