First-time claims for unemployment benefits totaled 3.8 million last week, which brings the overall total to 30 million Americans who have filed since the COVID-19 outbreak hit hard in the U.S. in March.
According to CNN, the total number of first-time claims over the past six weeks is now around 30.3 million, representing roughly 18.6% of the country’s labor force.
Many businesses have laid off, and furloughed workers during the pandemic in the U.S. The layoffs amount to 1 in 6 American workers without jobs and encompass more people than the entire population of the state of Texas.
According to the Associated Press, some economists predict that when the unemployment rate for April comes out next week, the unemployment rate could be as high as 20% — a seriously bleak figure not seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s, when the unemployment rates peaked at 25%.