An additional 4.4 million Americans signed up for unemployment benefits last week, bringing the total number of unemployed workers since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic to 26 million.
According to the AP, nearly 26 million people have applied for unemployment benefits within the past 5 weeks in the US, from the time the corona virus appeared and spread so far. The pandemic caused millions of employers to stop doing business and one in six American workers lost a job, the record number in history.
Experts warn that the US unemployment rate this month could reach 20%.
Job cuts have put the US economy in the worst crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Some economists estimate that US gross domestic product this year will double. compared to the 2008 crisis.
The painful economic damage of the blockade order to prevent the virus from spreading led to angry protests in several state capitals, with the crowd demanding local authorities to resume business operations.
Some state governors have begun to relax restrictions on people, despite warnings from health experts saying it is too early to do so without increasing the number of infections.
Georgia has allowed the gym and hair salon and bowling alley to reopen, while Texas has allowed parks to operate.
However, such activities will not lead to hiring, in the context that many Americans are still very cautious when deciding to leave home or not.
Most people said they supported the blockade, and believed it would be unsafe to loosen social isolation early. Many small businesses in the United States are also forced to lay off employees due to deadlock in accessing loans from government assistance.
Currently the number of people receiving unemployment benefits in the US is 16 million, far exceeding 12 million in 2010 after the world economic crisis.
Meanwhile, in many states in the US, unemployed workers are having difficulty registering for unemployment benefits. Among them are millions of freelance workers, seasonal workers and short-term contract workers, as well as self-employed workers.
Nearly all businesses in the US have cut jobs, with the restaurant and hospitality industry cutting the most with 4 million employees – roughly a third of the people working in the industry.
When the US government released April’s unemployment figures on May 8, economists predicted that the number could continue to rise.
JP Morgan predicts a total of 25 million jobs in America will disappear in this crisis, nearly 3 times the number of unemployed in the Great Depression (1929-1933).