Doubling Last Week's Record, US Jobless Claims Skyrocket To 6.6 Million

Gene Naumovsky

Uncertainty grips the US job market as unemployment numbers surge.

The Labor Department reported that weekly unemployment claims, ending last Saturday, spiked up to 6.64 million cases, according to the Business Insider. The report shows a doubling of unemployment cases since the last weekly report.

"These are unprecedented numbers, but we're also facing an unprecedented pandemic," Bank of America economist Joseph Song told Business Insider.

Starting in mid-march, the wave of US unemployment is continuing to break records, now with around 10 million Americans out of work. Yet, such figures are not surprising as more states begin to enforce social distancing and major companies, such as General Electric and Macy’s, announce layoffs and furloughs. Aaron Heaps, a 28-year-old actor out of all possible work, recalled his frustration calling the New York unemployment office for four straight days.

Economists are now predicting a recession in the second quarter of 2020 for the US. A Goldman Sachs report even predicts US GDP to fall by 34 percent. Unemployment numbers will continue to grow as new weekly reports come out. The White House’s response, the $2 trillion Coronavirus relief package, looks to aid workers while the economy takes a pause.

Elise Gould, an economist at the Economic Policy Institute, told Business Insider that unemployment-insurance-claims are still probably being underreported, as some workers are cut off to accessing applications or unaware of benefits. The future remains uncertain, as Glassdoor economist Daniel Zhao told Business Insider, “You have nothing in history that looks like this. So how do we even make predictions for what is going on here?”

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Economics, Finance and Investing