Others 4.4 million people They asked for unemployment benefits in the United States in the week ended April 18, the Labor Department revealed Thursday, thereby total about 26 million those who have lost their jobs since the coronavirus pandemic broke out.
This record in the number of people who have applied for the grant in the past five weeks means that all jobs created since the 2008 financial crisis were erased and that the best streak the American job market has had in its history has ended.
It is also one of the figures that most clearly shows the hard blow that the virus has spread throughout the country, by forcing the closure of shops, retail stores and restaurants that move a large part of the service sector, one of pillars of the world’s largest economy.
“In the week ended April 18, the number of initial orders, seasonally adjusted, was 4.43 million, a decrease of 810,000 compared to the revised level of the previous week,” the government explained in its report, on a data that was in line with analysts’ expectations.
Is the worst over?
Despite the bleeding of jobs in recent weeks, the numbers of requests for this subsidy have fallen slightly for two consecutive weeks, which for some experts suggests that the US job market is past the brunt in a crisis that would have raised the unemployment rate to 13.7% in the second quarter, according to a survey by the Reuters agency.
However, we will have to wait to see if this is so since the crisis began dozens of people have reported problems with state systems when applying for the subsidy. Further, the flood of applications has not been fully processed in some places, so the overall picture would be clearer in the coming weeks.
This mainly after Congress approved a massive $ 2.2 trillion stimulus package that includes a weekly increase of $ 600 in this aid for several months.
The sheer number of people who have lost their jobs seems to be one of the economic indicators that have made President Donald Trump anxious, eager for states to begin to relax their distancing restrictions so that economies can begin to move again.
His insistence, months after seeking reelection, has generated friction with the governors of key states such as New York and generated warnings, even within his own team, that those restrictions should be cautiously withdrawn so as not to risk a second wave of infections.
Until February, the labor market was solid, with historically low unemployment figures. However, the covid-19 pandemic, the disease caused by the coronavirus, quickly dealt a blow that left nearly 16% of the country’s workforce unemployed.
California, where more people asked for the subsidy
In the week ended April 18, 533,568 people applied for unemployment aid in California, the highest amount according to the government report.
Florida is second, where 505,137 people applied for the subsidy, and Texas is third, with 280,406. In Georgia, one of the states enlisting to ‘reopen’ its economy, 243,677 people also applied for unemployment benefits last week, the fourth highest number in that period.