Another 5 million Americans filed jobless claims as Trump plans to begin reopening economy
Last week, 5 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits in their states, bringing the total of Americans saying they are out of work to 22 million within the past four weeks.
The massive weekly claims figure was reported by the Labor Department on Thursday and showed that every sector continues to be hit by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
“The job losses are historic,” economist Julia Coronado said. “It means that we are going to be in for a double-digit unemployment rate.”
State-mandated lockdowns continue to keep people from working except in "essential" jobs. With everyone being ordered to stay at home except for vital purchases such as food and gas, demand for goods and services has decreased significantly in almost every industry, pushing the economy into the worst employment stagnation since the Great Depression.
It is unclear, however, how long the economic effects of the lockdown will last once the restrictions start to be lifted. President Trump is currently weighing plans to begin reopening the economy after May 1 to allow certain areas with low concentrations of coronavirus infections to relax social distancing measures.
Areas that are capable of relaxing social distancing guidelines should have "limited transmission, ample public health and health system capacity," and should be prepared to monitor the situation closely for a resurgence of infections, according to a document from the White House.
The document said that areas identified as recovering hot spots would have to wait until at least June before businesses can begin to reopen.