Unemployment Filings Reach Record Highs

Credit: John Locher/AP

The pandemic has stolen jobs from over 6 million Americans.

As businesses shutter and non-essential employees are laid off, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown its rippling effects in force, even outside of physical well-being. In the last three weeks, the United States job market has seen a downturn that exceeds even the 2008 recession by a large margin. Since the beginning of March, first-time filings for unemployment benefits have leapt a shocking 3,000%.

As of the end of last week, at least 6.6 million US workers have filed for unemployment. Counting that with repeat filers, US workers have filed an approximate total of 10 million jobless claims in the last two weeks. The attitude surrounding this surge is dire, to say the least, with economists using language like “monstrous,” “stunningly awful,” and “a portrait of disaster,” according to CNN. This level of unemployment can only lead to a general market decline the likes of which has not been seen in a very long time.

According to RSM’s chief economist, Joseph Brusuelas, the Trump administration needs to swiftly begin work on a second aid package after the first one has begin completely deployed. This hypothetical second package would need to “target plugging the holes that are being blown in state and local budgets, in addition to Federal Reserve purchases of state and municipal debt,” Bruselas told CNN.

The job report for March is supposed to release at the end of the week, though since job report surveys are usually conducted in the middle of the month, it likely won’t reflect how dire the unemployment situation actually is.

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