2.43 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week

2.43 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week

2.43 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week

But the number of people filing continued claims for unemployment benefits surged to more than 25 million in the week ending May 9, the feds said, suggesting many workers have not returned to their jobs since being laid off or furloughed amid lockdowns aimed at curbing the coronavirus. The prior week's figure was revised down by 294,000 to 2.69 million after a clerical error by CT labor officials inflated the overall nationwide figure. Over the past nine weeks, more than 38 million Americans have filed unemployment insurance claims.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims would total 2.4 million in the latest week. That two-month total is roughly equivalent to all of the initial claims filed during the Great Recession. The unemployment rate in February was 3.5%.

The federal government's Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation is a program to help residents who have run out of regular benefits.

Those series are reported with a one-week lag. The rise in unemployment comes despite the reopening of the economy by an increasing number of states across the country.

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.

"One bright spot, however, was the almost flat reading in continuing claims, which serves as a gauge of (1) how quickly the economy can ramp up after states "re-open" and (2) the efficacy of the PPP".

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