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Unemployment claims keep flowing in

by Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Posted 5/21/20, 10:18 am

State governments received 2.4 million new applications for unemployment benefits last week, the U.S. Labor Department reported on Thursday. On top of those claims, an additional 2.2 million people applied for aid through a new federal program that extends unemployment benefits to self-employed, contract, and gig workers. Nearly half of Americans said either their incomes have declined or an adult they live with has suffered a job loss or reduced hours, according to a report the Census Bureau released on Wednesday.

Are things going to get worse before they get better? Unemployment hit 14.7 percent and the U.S. economy lost some 20 million jobs in April. Major employers continue to announce cuts as businesses reel from coronavirus-related shutdowns. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the jobless rate could peak at 20 to 25 percent in May or June. But some companies have begun to rehire laid-off employees as states ease restrictions.

Dig deeper: Read Katie Gaultney’s report about the confusion over which businesses are allowed to stay open during the pandemic.

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Rachel Lynn Aldrich

Rachel is an assistant editor for WORLD Digital. She is a Patrick Henry College and World Journalism Institute graduate. Rachel resides with her husband in Wheaton, Ill.

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