New Unemployment Claims Slowed Again as Total Unemployed Hits a Record High

by Robert Hughes
The American Institute for Economic Research

Initial claims for unemployment insurance totaled 2.44 million for the week ending May 16, marking the ninth consecutive week of massive numbers of layoffs (see chart). However, claims have slowed for the seventh straight week after registering 6.87 million for the week ending March 28.

The current 9-week total of 38.6 million initial claims is more than four times the total of 8.7 million job losses that occurred over 25 months versus during the Great Recession (see chart). The current total is also more than double the 15.4 million peak number of unemployed people for the Great Recession and is above the record-high 23.1 million unemployed shown in the April 2020 jobs report, suggesting the May jobs report could be another disaster.

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