Unemployment Claims Set A New Record … Again

(ThePatriotSource.Com)- After setting a new record for first-time unemployment claims for the week that ended March 21, millions of more Americans filed for the relief last week, shattering previous records.

For the week that ended March 28, 6.6 million workers in the United States filed for their first week of unemployment benefits. In just the last two weeks, almost 10 million people have filed for unemployment benefits for the first time, with 3.3 million doing so for the week that ended March 21.

In roughly one months’ time, the number of unemployment claims skyrocketed more than 3,000%. Before the outbreak of the coronavirus, weekly unemployment claims were hovering around the low 200,000 mark.

The chief economist at RSM, Joseph Brusuelas, said this a “tectonic shift” in the labor market in the U.S. “implied a real-time unemployment rate of 10.1% at a minimum.” That number is sure to contrast with the jobs report for March, which is due to be released on Friday.

But that’s because the survey, conducted by Refinitiv, stops around the middle of each month, which was before the true impact of the coronavirus hit the jobs market. The survey is expected to show a loss of only roughly 100,000 jobs, with an unemployment rate of 3.8%, both of which are definitely not indicative of where the job market is today.

Phrases such as “monstrous,” “a portrait of disaster” and “stunning awful” were used by economists to describe last week’s surge in unemployment claims. The 6.6 million people who filed for benefits last week was way more than most economists had expected. It’s a number that predicts doom ahead for the job market, which is potentially at its most precarious position in the lifetime of anyone alive today.

Companies throughout the country continue to shed costs by laying off workers, furloughing them for a temporary period of time and/or not offering work for independent contractors and freelancers.

A large part of the $2 trillion economic stimulus package that was passed in March is going toward boosting unemployment benefits dramatically. Those who qualify for state unemployment will receive $600 per week from the federal government in addition to whatever they’ll receive from the state. This extra $600 per week will last for four months.

In addition, the stimulus package will extend unemployment benefits 13 weeks for eligible workers, with the federal government picking up the total bill for that extension. This means most unemployed workers in the country will qualify for a total of 39 weeks of unemployment benefits, though the total number of weeks does vary by state.

But while the federal government has already passed three coronavirus-related stimulus bills, Brusuelas believes another fiscal aid package is necessary 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.”

There aren’t many industries that haven’t been significantly impacted by the coronavirus outbreak, and the effects continue to compound with each passing week.