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Nearly 39 million have lost their jobs in the US since the virus occurred



WASHINGTON: The number of Americans applying unemployment benefits in the two months since the coronavirus hit the US has increased by nearly 39 million, the government reported Thursday, though states from coast to coast are slowly reopening their economies and getting people back to work.
More than 2.4 million people filed for unemployment last week in the latest wave of disappearances from business shutdowns that brought the economy to its knees, the Labor Department said.
That brings the running total to a staggering 38.6 million, a job market collapse that has yet to materialize.
The number of weekly applications has been slowed down for seven straight weeks. However the numbers remain surprisingly high ̵
1; 10 times higher than normal before the crisis.
It shows that even though all the states have begun reopening in the last three weeks, employment has not been backward and the outbreak is still hurting businesses and destroying jobs.
“ While the continued decline in claims is good news, the labor market is in terrible shape, ” said Gus Faucher, chief economist at PNC Financial.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said over the weekend that unemployment in the United States could increase in May or June by 20% to 25%, a level last seen in the depths of the Great Depression nearly 90 years ago ago. Unemployment in April stood at 14.7%, a figure also unmatched since the 1930s.
More than 5 million people worldwide have been infected with the virus, and more than 330,000 deaths have been recorded, including more than 94,000 in the US and around 165,000 in Europe, according to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University and based on government data. Experts believe the true toll is much higher.

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