Three million more join jobless ranks in the US

Three million more join jobless ranks in the US

That suggests one in five United States workers tried to join the nation's unemployment rolls in the last seven weeks as the pandemic delivered an unprecedented gut punch to the labor force.

With Washington's most recent claims, the total number of workers in the state who have filed for unemployment insurance since the start of the coronavirus crisis could approach 900,000, which would be almost three times the peak during the Great Recession.

But some states have been feeling the impact of job losses more than others. In March the jobless rate shot up 0.9 percentage points, the largest monthly change since January 1975, to 4.4 per cent.

As industries in Arizona begin to reopen, some of the workers who have been off for more than a month never received unemployment benefits.

Just two months ago, the unemployment rate was at 3.5%, a 50-year low. The state was among the last in the nation to implement a stay-at-home order and thus is experiencing a later spike in unemployment claims.

"Claims continue to decay by about 15 to 18 percent per-week, and are now at less than half the 6.9 million peak in the week of March 28", he said in an analysis. Kentucky and New Hampshire also posted noteworthy jumps, both showing a more than 3,500% increase in jobless claims over the same period.

The employment department said it is working to improve communication but said it is hamstrung by its aging computer systems and by the complexity of many claims.

Zack Guzman is the host of YFi PM as well as a senior writer and on-air reporter covering entrepreneurship, cannabis, startups, and breaking news at Yahoo Finance.

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