New US jobless claims slow, but still high at 2.98 million

WASHINGTON: New US claims for unemployment benefits continued to slow in the latest week but at 2.98 million showed the coronavirus pandemic continues to destroy jobs, according to government data released Thursday (May 14).

The number of people filing for jobless benefits for the first time in the week ended May 9 decreased about 200,000 from the previous week, the Labor Department said, but the level was well above what analysts expected and remained far higher than any week prior to the pandemic.

The new data brings the total job losses since economic shutdowns began in mid-March to 36.5 million, a figure rivaled only by the Great Depression 90 years ago.

That is pushing the unemployment rate closer to Depression-era levels as well, jumping to 14.7 per cent in April with 20.5 million job losses in a single month as governments ordered businesses closed to stop the spread of the virus that has killed more than 84,000 people in the United States.



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READ: In nod to grim US outlook, Fed's Powell calls for more fiscal support

Some US cities and states are eyeing reopening to amid fears over the worsening economic pain, but public health officials have warned of the perils of doing so while the virus still rages.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on Wednesday encouraged more spending to help the world's largest economy weather the unprecedented shock, warning it could do "lasting damage."

In an interview on Fox Business Network late Wednesday, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the huge unemployment figures were &quRead More – Source