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Jobless claims climb to 30 million in six weeks as COVID-19 layoffs continue to rise

Charisse Jones USA TODAY April 29th, 2020

Roughly 3.8 million people filed for unemployment last week alone, the Labor Department said Thursday,  fewer than the 4.4 million who filed the week before and down from the all-time high of 6.86 million applications in late March. Jobless claims provide the best measure of layoffs across the country.

While the number of new claims continues to slide, the tally is still monumental and is building toward a projected unemployment rate of 16.4% in May that would be the highest since the Great Depression, according to Morgan Stanley.

By mid-April, more claims had been filed over four weeks than there were jobs created in the wake of the economic downturn of 2008.  

“The COVID-19 crisis has made us accustomed and desensitized to previously unthinkable phenomena, but today marks a tough reality for our country and for American workers,’’ Andrew Stettner, senior fellow at The Century Foundation, said in a statement. “The real question now is how many of these millions of workers flooding into state unemployment systems make it out to the other side with a payment.”

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