NATIONWIDE (Fox News): Another 4.4-million Americans filed for unemployment claims last week, the Labor Department reported Thursday, as massive job losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic continued to grow.
The new report, which covers the week ending April 18, brings total job losses since the virus outbreak triggered widespread stay-at-home measures five weeks ago to more than 26-million, a stunning sign of the depth of the economic crisis.
With a labor force that totals about 162-million people, the claims figures suggest the unemployment rate is about 16 percent, or roughly one in six Americans.
Economists surveyed by Refinitiv expected the number of initial claims for state unemployment benefits to hit 4.2-million.
The four-week moving average was more than 9-million, up 3.5-million from a week ago.
The $2-trillion stimulus package signed at the end of March was designed to blunt the economic pain from the virus outbreak. As of Monday, more than 40 states were paying laid-off workers an additional $600 a week in unemployment benefits, in addition to regular state payments, Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia said earlier this week.