Up to 22 Million in the last 4 weeks….
Even as political leaders wrangle over how and when to restart the American economy, the coronavirus pandemic’s devastation became more evident Thursday with more than 5.2 million workers added to the tally of the unemployed.
In the last four weeks, the number of unemployment claims has reached 22 million — roughly the net number of jobs created in a nine-and-a-half-year stretch that began after the last recession and ended with the pandemic’s arrival.
The latest figure from the Labor Department, reflecting last week’s initial claims, underscores how the downdraft has spread to every corner of the economy: hotels and restaurants, mass retailers, manufacturers and white-collar strongholds like law firms.
“There’s nowhere to hide,” said Diane Swonk, chief economist at Grant Thornton in Chicago. “This is the deepest, fastest, most broad-based recession we’ve ever seen.”
Some of the new jobless claims represent freshly laid-off workers; others are from people who had been trying for a week or more to file. “We’re still playing catch-up on multiple fronts,” Ms. Swonk said….