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3.8 Million Americans File for Unemployment, Raising Total to 30 Million Since Onset of Pandemic

People who lost their jobs wait in line to file for unemployment following an outbreak of the coronavirus, in Fayetteville, Ark., April 6, 2020. (Nick Oxford/Reuters)

An additional 3.8 million Americans filed jobless claims in the past week, the Department of Labor reported on Tuesday, amid continuing economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

Total U.S. unemployment since the start of the pandemic has soared to 30 million, or 18 percent of the work force.

States are currently formulating plans to reopen businesses initially shuttered to enforce social distancing measures, but states hit the hardest by coronavirus outbreaks, with New York at the top of the list, will likely keep certain businesses closed at least until mid May. Dr. Deborah Birx, response coordinator for the White House coronavirus task force, on Sunday told reporters that social distancing measures will likely “be with us” through the summer, which would have an additional impact on numerous businesses.

Last week the Congressional Budget Office predicted that the federal government would run up a $3.7 trillion deficit in 2020 due to massive spending on economic relief for Americans affected by the crisis.

“The economy will experience a sharp contraction in the second quarter of 2020 stemming from factors related to the pandemic, including the social distancing measures put in place to contain it,” the CBO report reads. “In the third quarter, economic activity is expected to increase, as concerns about the pandemic diminish … However, challenges in the economy and the labor market are expected to persist for some time.”

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

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