Layoffs continue in the US, but requests for unemployment help slow down

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The new data brings 36.5 million lost jobs in the United States.

By AFP

The wave of layoffs continues to hit the US economy, but new claims for unemployment benefits fell this week from the previous week to 2.98 million, according to data released Thursday by the Labor Department.

The number of people who first applied for unemployment benefits in the week ended May 9 fell by about 200,000 from the previous week, but it was higher than analysts expected and is still far higher than any previous week. to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The new data brings to 36.5 million the jobs lost in the United States since the arrival of the pandemic in mid-March, a figure only comparable to the situation the country experienced during the Great Depression of almost a century ago.

These people who join the ranks of unemployment will influence the unemployment rate, which rose to 14.7% in April, registering a spectacular increase since before the crisis in February, when it was at 3.5%.

The great confinement to try to stop the virus – for which there is no vaccine and the treatments are still experimental – generated the loss of 20.5 million jobs in April.

The consultancy HFE estimated that as several states in the country begin to reopen their businesses, workers will again find opportunities.

However, new protocols for the virus will continue to restrict activity. We think the layoffs will continue in the coming weeks, albeit at a slower rate, "they indicated.