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U.S. jobless claims total 3.2 mln last week as COVID-19 continues to ravage economy

2020-May-8       Source: Xinhuanet.com

The seven-week total of initial jobless claims in the United States has surpassed a staggering 33 million, indicating the scope of COVID-19's damage to the country's labor market.

The seven-week total of initial jobless claims in the United States has surpassed a staggering 33 million, indicating the scope of COVID-19's damage to the country's labor market.

WASHINGTON, May 7 (Xinhua) -- The number of initial jobless claims in the United States totaled nearly 3.2 million last week as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to sweep the nation, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported on Thursday.

In the week ending May 2, the number of Americans filing for U.S. unemployment benefits decreased by 677,000 from the prior week to 3,169,000, the fifth weekly decline in a row.

So far, the seven-week total has surpassed a staggering 33 million, indicating the scope of COVID-19's damage to the U.S. labor market.

As COVID-19 shutdowns rippled through the workforce, initial jobless claims spiked by 3 million to reach a record 3.3 million in the week ending March 21, then doubled to reach a record 6.87 million in the week ending March 28.

After that, figures have been declining, though still at historical highs. Initial jobless claims totaled 6.62 million in the week ending April 4, fell to 5.2 million in the week ending April 11, dropped to 4.4 million in the week ending April 18, and then declined to 3.8 million in the week ending April 25.

The new BLS report also showed that the four-week moving average, a method to iron out data volatility, decreased by 861,500 to reach 4.2 million.

The newly released weekly jobless claim data came one day after payroll data company Automatic Data Processing, Inc. reported that private companies in the United States shed around 20.2 million jobs in April amid COVID-19 fallout.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 15.1 percent for the week ending April 25, an increase of 2.9 percentage points from the previous week's unrevised rate, the BLS report showed.

According to the Peterson Institute for International Economics' semiannual Global Economic Prospects outlook released last month, the U.S. output is expected to shrink by 8 percent in 2020, and the unemployment rate will probably peak around 20 percent in the early summer.

Editor: Steven

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