More than 5.2 million Americans filed unemployment claims last week after a month-long surge in layoffs and furloughs continued due to coronavirus stay-at-home orders nationwide.
In the week ending April 11, 5.24 million people filed unemployment claims, the U.S. Department of Labor reported, down 1.37 million from the week prior, when 6.61 million people filed for unemployment.
In the past four weeks roughly 22 million people have filed for unemployment benefits nationwide because of the coronavirus shutdown.
“The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 8.2 percent for the week ending April 4, an increase of 3.1 percentage points from the previous week’s unrevised rate,” the Department of Labor said in its report accompanying the numbers. “This marks the highest level of the seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate in the history of the seasonally adjusted series. The previous high was 7.0 percent in May of 1975.”
Roughly 28,000 people have died in the U.S. from the coronavirus, a number critics note is far less than the flue or other diseases.
Governors from several states have announced plans to reopen their economies.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom outlined a comprehensive plan for easing restrictions on the state’s residents and businesses that included individuals needing to wear masks in public, temperatures being taken before people enter businesses, restaurants reopening but with fewer tables so social distancing guidelines can be continued, and schools staggering schedules so fewer students can attend at one time.
Seven northeastern states have also begun discussions to reopen the economy regionally. And Texas Governor Greg Abbott has announced the creation of a task force and plans to reopen Texas Friday, April 17.