US unemployment set to soar to 30 MILLION as coronavirus pandemic wrecks economy

With the US Labor Department set to release weekly jobless claims figures on Thursday, economists project that another 3.5 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits during the week ending April 25.

That will add to the 4.427 million initial jobless claims in the previous week, bringing the total number to at least 30 million during the six-week period of the forced lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Economists expect the number of unemployed Americans in April to shatter the post-World War II record of 10.8 percent reached in November 1982. In March, the jobless rate skyrocketed 0.9 of a percentage point to 4.4 percent, which is the greatest monthly change since January 1975.

“The peak in unemployment will come in April or May, followed by declines beginning in June as economic reopening plays out. For small business loans to be forgiven, employers will need to rehire by late June,” Andrew Hollenhorst, an economist at Citigroup in New York, was quoted as saying by Reuters.

“Enhanced unemployment benefits stretch through late July. The timing of these policies suggests there may be a surge of hiring into the later months of the summer.”

The US economy has suffered its sharpest contraction since the 2008 financial crisis as a result of nationwide lockdowns to slow the spread of Covid-19. The United States is the worst-hit country, with more than 1 million coronavirus infections and more than 61,000 deaths. RT

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