Week Seven of the Collapse of the U.S. Labor Market

by Wolf Richter
Wolf Street

“Insured unemployment rate” spikes to 15.5%, is already over 20% in some states, 25% in Vermont.

State unemployment offices have processed a gut-wrenching 33.48 million initial claims for unemployment insurance over the seven reporting weeks since mid-March. In the week ended May 2, state unemployment offices have processed 3.169 million unemployment claims, seasonally adjusted, according to the US Department of Labor this morning.

Each weekly number of unemployment claims over the past seven weeks blew away the weekly records of the prior unemployment crises in 1982 and 2009; today’s claims were nearly five times the magnitude of the prior record spikes. So initial unemployment claims are falling, but they’re still at a catastrophic level:

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