News

Economy & Business

6.6 Million Americans File for Unemployment in Past Week as Coronavirus Continues to Devastate Economy

A worker cleans an empty hall in Industry City, where are the shops have been closed due to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, in Brooklyn N.Y., March 26, 2020. (Stephen Yang/Reuters)

Unemployment levels surged as 6.6 million Americans filed jobless claims in the past week.

Along with the 3.3 million workers who filed for unemployment in mid-March, the new figures show that roughly 10 million Americans in total are now out of work.

Workers have been hit hard by the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic, with various state governments banning public gatherings and shutting restaurants, theaters, gyms, and other businesses. The number of unemployment claims has exceeded even the dire predictions of economists, many of whom estimated 3.5 million Americans would file for unemployment this week, according to CNN.

“The speed and magnitude of the labor market’s decline is unprecedented,” Constance Hunter, chief economist at KPMG LLP, told the Wall Street Journal. Hunter now projects that roughly 20 million jobs will be lost in total during the coronavirus crisis.

The $2.2 trillion economic relief package hashed out by Congress and the Trump administration and signed on Friday allows independent contractors and self-employed workers to file for benefits, which increases the amount of workers eligible for unemployment. The amount of jobless claims in the coming weeks is also expected to remain high because local governments have not yet been able to process the sheer volume of claims.

“We’re expecting the biggest layoffs to occur for the type of worker it’s going to be most painful for,” namely low-skilled employees of small businesses, said Paige Ouimet, professor of finance at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, in comments to the Journal.

Send a tip to the news team at NR.

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

Most Popular

The Need to Discuss Black-on-Black Crime

Thomas Abt’s book Bleeding Out (2019) has garnered a fair amount of attention for its proposals to deal with gun violence in mainly black urban neighborhoods. The entire focus of the book is on interventions in high-crime locations to stem the violence, including: hot-spots policing, working with young males at ... Read More

The Need to Discuss Black-on-Black Crime

Thomas Abt’s book Bleeding Out (2019) has garnered a fair amount of attention for its proposals to deal with gun violence in mainly black urban neighborhoods. The entire focus of the book is on interventions in high-crime locations to stem the violence, including: hot-spots policing, working with young males at ... Read More
Elections

Good Riddance, Valerie Plame

In a week full of bad news, the defeat of Valerie Plame in a New Mexico Democratic congressional primary is easily overlooked. Had Plame won, she would have had a good chance of winning the seat, as the 3rd District is pretty heavily Democratic-leaning, scoring a D+8 in the Cook Partisan Voting Index. In ... Read More
Elections

Good Riddance, Valerie Plame

In a week full of bad news, the defeat of Valerie Plame in a New Mexico Democratic congressional primary is easily overlooked. Had Plame won, she would have had a good chance of winning the seat, as the 3rd District is pretty heavily Democratic-leaning, scoring a D+8 in the Cook Partisan Voting Index. In ... Read More
U.S.

The Lockdowns Are Now a Scandal

A boy in my neighborhood committed suicide a few weeks ago. It’s possible that the teen’s preexisting problems were exacerbated by the seclusion, tediousness, and helplessness of a national lockdown. Maybe not. I didn’t really know him. I do know that locals were forced to pay respects by sitting parked ... Read More
U.S.

The Lockdowns Are Now a Scandal

A boy in my neighborhood committed suicide a few weeks ago. It’s possible that the teen’s preexisting problems were exacerbated by the seclusion, tediousness, and helplessness of a national lockdown. Maybe not. I didn’t really know him. I do know that locals were forced to pay respects by sitting parked ... Read More
U.S.

This Is Why We Need Guns

‘Only the cops need guns” simply could not live forever alongside, “The cops are racist and will kill you.” And so, at long last, the two circles of the Venn Diagram have filed for an amicable divorce. In the end, the differences proved irreconcilable. At least, they proved irreconcilable without ... Read More
U.S.

This Is Why We Need Guns

‘Only the cops need guns” simply could not live forever alongside, “The cops are racist and will kill you.” And so, at long last, the two circles of the Venn Diagram have filed for an amicable divorce. In the end, the differences proved irreconcilable. At least, they proved irreconcilable without ... Read More
World

Welcome Home, Hong Kong

London doesn’t have the power to push the corrupt little junta in Beijing into being halfway decent to the people of Hong Kong, but Boris Johnson has a bold solution for almost half of those people: Come to the United Kingdom. Hong Kong is a former British territory, and about 3 million of its 7.5 million ... Read More
World

Welcome Home, Hong Kong

London doesn’t have the power to push the corrupt little junta in Beijing into being halfway decent to the people of Hong Kong, but Boris Johnson has a bold solution for almost half of those people: Come to the United Kingdom. Hong Kong is a former British territory, and about 3 million of its 7.5 million ... Read More