Economists predict that the worst job erosion in the United States since World War II may occur.

..- The claims for unemployment benefits set a new record last week in the United States with 6.6 million applications, at a time when the coronavirus epidemic has forced companies to close across the country, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

These data for the week ended March 28 represent double the requests registered the previous week when 3.3 million workers applied for unemployment benefits, which then already set a weekly record.

In the United States, where the epidemic has claimed more than 5,000 lives and there are more than 200,000 confirmed cases, vibrant cities have become ghost places with businesses closed and streets empty.

In this context in which the authorities try to stop the advance of the epidemic – which in the world has left more than 940,000 infected and more than 47,000 dead – the only places open are food stores and hospitals.

These unemployment figures are worse than the gloomier estimates by economists and reflect increasing damage to the US economy as the pandemic progresses and containment measures are more severe.

“Almost every state (which reported its unemployment subsidy requests figures) included comments that cited COVID-19,” said the report, which shows more marked impacts in sectors such as hospitality, but also in manufacturing and commerce. retail.

These figures reveal the magnitude of this crisis, as they are the first since confinement measures and restrictions became more general in the country, which this week became the nation with the most cases registered worldwide.

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On Wednesday the ADP indicator, which measures payrolls in the private sector, showed that 27,000 jobs were lost in the balance between jobs created and jobs that are closed, but this survey is monthly, so the data does not reflect the rapid change in the situation.

However, this marker showed a troubling indication that small businesses had lost jobs at a rate not seen since the worst part of the global financial crisis in early 2009.

Possible worst job erosion since World War II

According to analysts, the April data can be disastrous and show figures that would have seemed unimaginable just a few weeks ago, in the range of 10 to 20 million grant applications.

Some economists predict that the worst job erosion may occur since World War II.

“I have no words,” said analyst Ian Shepherdson of Pantheon Macroeconomics, after learning the figures.

“We expected today’s figures to be at their peak, but we cannot be sure,” he said in an analysis in which he projected that layoff estimates between March and April could range from 16 to 20 million workers.

The Donald Trump government – seeking re-election and celebrating low unemployment during his tenure – last week approved a $ 2 trillion mega economic bailout package that includes aid to workers.

This initiative is the largest federal economic intervention in the history of the United States and includes a significant expansion of unemployment benefits to cushion the blow for millions of workers.

Unemployment figures for March will be released on Friday, but these data are not a reflection of the magnitude of the crisis because of the way these statistics are compiled.

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