Over 2.4 million Americans filed for unemployment last week

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NATIONWIDE (Fox News): More than 2.4 million laid-off workers applied for unemployment last week, the Labor Department reported on Thursday, as the coronavirus pandemic, and the economic catastrophe it’s triggered, forced companies to continue slashing jobs.

The new report, which covers the week ending May 16, pushes the nine-week total of losses since states directed residents to stay at home and required nonessential businesses to nearly 39 million. All of the jobs created during the past decade have been wiped out; unemployment at this scale hasn’t been recorded since the Great Depression.

Economists surveyed by Refinitiv had forecast 2.4 million.

Although the number is still grim ⁠— it’s the ninth straight week that layoffs were counted in the millions ⁠— it’s the lowest amount of jobless claims since the week ended March 15. The four-week moving average was 22 million, up 2.3 million from the previous week.

The previous week’s total was revised down by 294,000 from 2.98 million to 2.68 million after Connecticut incorrectly reported data for last week.

“#USDOL May 14 report shows CT with 298,680 initial UI (unemployment insurance) claims filed. Correct number is 29,846,” Connecticut’s Department of Labor said in a tweet.

Economists said claims were also being kept elevated as states started processing applications for hundreds of thousands of gig workers and self-employed individuals. Typically, these workers are not eligible to receive jobless benefits; however, in order to secure the federal aid, they must first apply for state benefits and be denied.

As of Tuesday, 43 states were paying out benefits to those workers, according to the Labor Department.

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