The Department of Labor noted, “The COVID-19 virus continues to impact the number of initial claims and its impact is also reflected in the increasing levels of insured unemployment.” In a dramatic increase, 3.8M additional Americans claimed unemployment last week for the first time. (A decrease of 603K claims from last week) We have wiped out all the jobs created since the “Great Financial Crisis.” We are now over 30.3M claims in the past 6 weeks.
This morning Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia issued the following statement regarding Unemployment Insurance claims:
“As states begin the process of reopening and Americans return to work, today’s unemployment report reflects once again the hardship caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The President’s actions and policies will continue to support American workers during this crisis. All 50 states are now delivering the $600 additional weekly unemployment benefit provided by the CARES Act. The Department has disbursed more than three-quarters of a billion dollars to States to help them deliver this relief as quickly as possible as Americans follow the guidance of public health officials to ‘slow the spread.’ Looking ahead, as workplaces reopen, we must ensure that individuals transition from unemployment back into the workforce. Key to this process will be workplace safety. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has been at the forefront of workplace safety since January, delivering important resources and guidance to businesses to help them keep workers safe, and investigating and responding to worker complaints.”
Source: Department of Labor
The 4 week moving average for claims was 5.03M, a decrease of 757,000 from the previous week’s revised average of 5.79. The Fed and Treasury continue to do everything in their power to help people and businesses sustain through this tough time, the biggest two unknowns continue to be: 1.When can we defeat the virus, and 2. Once defeated, how quickly can we all get back to work in the “new normal.”