Last week another 3.2 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits bringing the total to 33.5 million workers in less than two months. Thus the business shutdowns caused by the viral outbreak deepened the worst U.S. economic catastrophe in decades.
These numbers suggests one in five US workers tried to join the nation’s unemployment rolls in the last seven weeks as the pandemic delivering knock-out blows to both our labor force and our economy.
Payroll firm ADP offered a glimpse at the damage on Wednesday when it said the private sector lost 20.2 million jobs last month, more than double the total for the Great Recession.
Sadly, some experts are saying that these dismal numbers are falling short of the real unemployment problem.
For example, overwhelmed states are unable to process the massive flood of unemployment claims as businesses close and lay off their workers.
In New York State workers have reported waiting weeks to get unemployment checks. Already it has paid more than $5.8 billion in benefits to 1.5 million people since the crisis began, the state Labor Department said Wednesday.
As the economy slides further into what looks like a severe recession, economists are projecting that the gross domestic product — the broadest gauge of economic growth — is contracting in the current April-June quarter by a shocking 40% annual rate.