The COVID-19 pandemic and the necessary measures taken by the government to flatten the curve of the outbreak continue to put an enormous toll on the American and world economy. Thursday morning, the U.S. Labor Department released fresh data on Thursday morning, revealing that in the week ending March 28, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 6,648,000, an increase of 3,341,000 from the previous week’s revised level.
This marks the highest level of seasonally adjusted initial claims in the history of the seasonally adjusted series. The previous week’s level was revised up by 24,000 from 3,283,000 to 3,307,000. The 4-week moving average was 2,612,000, an increase of 1,607,750 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 6,000 from 998,250 to 1,004,250.
“The deterioration of the labor market in the past two weeks almost defies belief,” Nick Bunker, Indeed Hiring Lab’s director of economic research, explained according to Yahoo Finance. “Since March 14, approximately 3.8% of the working age population has filed for unemployment. For context, during the Great Recession, the share of the population dropped 4.6 percentage points from December 2007 to December 2009. That took two years. The labor market is in a historic freefall.”
The catastrophic situation of the labor market is not projected to improve in the short term. “Claims are likely to remain elevated throughout April, especially as more business owners and workers learn about the more generous unemployment insurance benefits included in the Phase 3 legislation,” claims Goldman Sachs economist David Mericle.