News World U.S. weekly jobless claims surge to record 3.28 million

U.S. weekly jobless claims surge to record 3.28 million

The number of Americans filing claims for unemployment benefits surged to a record of more than 3 million last week as strict measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic ground the country to a sudden halt, unleashing a wave of layoffs that likely brought an end to the longest employment boom in U.S. history.

The weekly jobless claims report from the Labour Department on Thursday offered the clearest evidence yet of the coronavirus’ devastating impact on the economy, which has forced the Federal Reserve to take extraordinary steps and the U.S. Congress to assemble a record $2 trillion stimulus package.

Economists say the economy is already in recession. Weekly claims are the most timely labour market indicator.

Initial claims for unemployment benefits rose 3,001,000 to a seasonally adjusted 3.28 million in the week ending March 21, eclipsing the previous record of 695,000 set in 1982, the Labour Department said.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims would rise to 1 million, though estimates were as high as 4 million.

The Labour Department attributed the surge to COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus.

“During the week ending March 21, the increase in initial claims are due to the impacts of the COVID-19 virus,” the department said. “States continued to cite services industries broadly, particularly accommodation and food service. Additional industries heavily cited for the increases included the health care and social assistance, arts, entertainment and recreation, transportation and warehousing, and manufacturing industries.”

Governors in at least 18 states, accounting for nearly half the country’s population, have ordered residents to stay mostly indoors. “Non-essential” businesses have also been ordered closed. According to economists, a fifth of the workforce is on some form of lockdown.

Last week’s claims data likely will have no impact on March’s employment report as it falls outside the period during which the government surveyed employers for nonfarm payrolls, which was the week to March 14. Economists, however, say the rush for benefits in that survey week suggests payrolls declined this month, which would end nearly 9-1/2 years of job growth.

“Jobs will decline in March,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics in West Chester, Pennsylvania. “There are numerous reports of laid-off workers unable to file for unemployment insurance because so many people are trying to file at the same time. Millions of job losses are likely in coming weeks.”

(Reuters)

Top Stories

Cyprus prices dual EMTN Tranche for €1.75 billion

The Republic of Cyprus has priced on Tuesday two new benchmark-sized Euro Medium Term Notes for a total amount of €1.75 bn with Finance...

MoE announces support measures for cultural sector

The Minister of Education and Culture Prodromos Prodromou announced on Tuesday support measures for the cultural sector suffering the consequences of Covid-19 that involves...

29 new Covid-19 cases in Cyprus

Another 29 people tested positive for coronavirus the Health Ministry said on Tuesday, up on yesterday’s levels (19). This brings the total number of confirmed...

20 Cypriot Covid-19 patients included in Avigan trials

Cyprus is among 20 countries worldwide that will receive the drug Avigan to treat hospitalised Covid-19 patients, the Health Ministry said on Tuesday. It said...

CBC calls on Αsset Management Companies to promote loan repayment suspensions

The Central Bank of Cyprus called on Credit Acquiring Companies (CACs) to promote moratorium on loan repayments, as part of the measures to alleviate...

Taste

Stuffed vine leaves without meat

(Dolmadakia gialantzi) Rinse the leaves and boil in salted water for approximately 10 minutes until soft. Drain and place in some cold water with ice...

Snails with tomato sauce

When the snails are ready, drain them. Fry the onions in the oil and once slightly brown, add the tomatoes. Stir until cooked well...

Sea bream with capers

Clean the sea bream well, add salt and pepper to them and brush them with olive oil. Mix the capers and parsley together as...

Halloumi bread

Sift the flour with the salt into a bowl and mix in the yeast and lemon rind. Make a well in the centre of...