Battlecreek Coffee Roasters/Unsplash
Battlecreek Coffee Roasters W H7 Vosd0f48 Photo By Battlecreek Coffee Roasters On Unsplash

6.6 Million More File Unemployment, Sustaining March’s Record Rate

April 9, 2020
More than 16.8 million people have filed initial claims for unemployment insurance since the second half of March.

The rate of workers filing for unemployment benefits remained at record highs last week. 6,606,000 filed initial unemployment insurance claims in the week ending in April 4, a slight decrease from the week before. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, which released the report April 9, reported adjusted filings from the week of March 28 of 6,867,000: the initially reported figure was 6,648,000.

For the third week in a row, the Bureau included a note attributing the unprecedented figures to the COVID-19 virus. More than 16.8 million people have filed initial unemployment claims in those same three weeks as quarantines crush the ability of certain industries—especially services and travel industries—to operate and severely restrict the activity of others.

It’s not clear yet just how hard the manufacturing sector has been hit. The latest employment report from the Bureau available shows that the manufacturing sector lost 18,000 jobs, but that report only covered the four weeks before unemployment insurance rates began skyrocketing in late March. The actual number of jobs lost in manufacturing is almost certainly much higher, but the data showing what portion of the 16.8 million unemployment claims lost are attributable to manufacturing losses won’t be available until May 8.

The report released April 9 covering initial unemployment insurance claims for the week ending April 4 also included state comments on last week’s results from individual states. California reported the worst losses, with 871,992 jobs lost alone in the Sunshine state. A state comment noted that the layoffs were mainly in the services industries.

New York, which April 8 passed Spain and Italy in reported cases, lost 286,596 jobs: the Empire State commented that the layoffs there were due to coronavirus. State figures for the week of April 4 will be available in next week’s unemployment claims report.

Sponsored Recommendations

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of IndustryWeek, create an account today!