The torrent of Americans filing for unemployment insurance continued last week as 6.6 million new claims were filed, the Labor Department reported Thursday.
Economists surveyed by Dow Jones estimated 3.1 million, a week after nearly 3.3 million filings in the first wave of what has been a record-shattering swelling of the jobless ranks.
Before the coronavirus shut down major parts of the U.S. economy, the highest week for claims was 695,000 in 1982. The Great Recession high was 665,000 in March 2009.
They are only getting started as well. Most small businesses have a couple weeks of wages in reserves. With bills coming due at the first of the month, we are in a week where jobless claims will probably surge well beyond what has been done already. This is where most small (and large) companies break.
The lockdown in Florida just went into effect and will last an entire month, which will likely add millions to the rolls in itself.
It’s quite possible when all this is said and done, upwards of a third of the US workforce will be unemployed.
Dumbest US public policy ever.