Another 2.4 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week

Economist and Columbia University professor Jeffrey Sachs explains why the US will likely have a "messy" economic recovery following the coronavirus pandemic.

Posted: May 21, 2020 9:31 AM
Updated: May 21, 2020 9:31 AM

For the ninth week in a row, millions of Americans filed for initial unemployment benefits. Even as the economy is beginning to reopen in parts of the country, layoffs and furloughs have taken hold of the US labor market.

Another 2.4 million Americans filed for first-time benefits last week, the Department of Labor reported on Thursday. In total, 38.6 million people have filed for initial unemployment aid since mid-March, when lockdowns began in full force across the country.

In a quirk that you don't see every week, claims for the week ended May 9 were revised down rather sharply -- from nearly 3 million to 2.7 million. Although that's welcome news, it was expected, caused by a reporting mistake from Connecticut's Labor Department that way overreported the number of claims from the prior week.

Now the (relatively) good news: First-time claims have declined for seven straight weeks. They peaked at 6.9 million in the final week of March.

But joblessness remains a crisis in the United States. Wide swaths of the country's labor market will remain closed as the coronavirus makes returning to work impossible for many Americans. Economists expect many -- but not all -- jobs will return as the economy reopens. But experts remain concerned that some jobs will be permanently eliminated by this crisis.

Continued jobless claims -- which count people filing for unemployment benefits for at least two-weeks in a row -- rose to 25.1 million. Economists are paying more attention to how many people are claiming benefits longer-term to understand how the labor market is recovering as the economy is beginning to reopen.

But unemployment claims are not equal to lost jobs. The two numbers are based on different surveys.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics last jobs report showed some 20 million jobs got wiped out in April, while the unemployment rate jumped to 14.7%, its highest level since the agency began tracking it in 1948.

This is a developing story. It will be updated

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1000163

Reported Deaths: 16309
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1347632106
Lake660041156
Allen57441793
Hamilton46100461
St. Joseph44109607
Elkhart35696507
Vanderburgh32087477
Tippecanoe27796257
Johnson24902443
Hendricks23738354
Porter22802362
Madison18614404
Clark18424250
Vigo17347301
Monroe15180197
LaPorte15046250
Delaware14984259
Howard14626287
Kosciusko12217147
Hancock11630175
Bartholomew11505179
Warrick11255189
Floyd11013214
Wayne10897250
Grant9964218
Morgan9404176
Boone8863116
Dubois8227130
Dearborn817093
Henry8139151
Noble7984106
Marshall7838134
Cass7499119
Lawrence7403170
Shelby7138114
Jackson694088
Gibson6533113
Harrison644491
Huntington633999
Knox6273106
DeKalb626397
Montgomery6208109
Miami589797
Putnam575377
Clinton570271
Whitley560455
Steuben554675
Wabash5279101
Jasper524475
Jefferson506996
Ripley495685
Adams476073
Daviess4616113
Scott435869
Greene422096
Wells420987
Clay420260
White415962
Decatur4133101
Fayette404286
Jennings385160
Posey375343
LaGrange353978
Washington353249
Randolph341999
Spencer337342
Fountain332558
Sullivan326752
Starke313369
Owen312070
Fulton306567
Orange291762
Jay280445
Perry264752
Franklin264042
Carroll259132
Rush258832
Vermillion255454
Parke230026
Pike227943
Tipton226659
Blackford190540
Pulaski181855
Crawford158623
Newton156048
Benton150217
Brown144547
Martin137419
Switzerland134211
Warren120516
Union106815
Ohio84112
Unassigned0538

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1499485

Reported Deaths: 23327
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1626291662
Cuyahoga1447662412
Hamilton1044761409
Montgomery731681240
Summit610421094
Lucas55643904
Butler51076707
Stark459431053
Lorain35141568
Warren32476369
Mahoning30315672
Clermont27930321
Lake26669434
Delaware23960162
Licking23547283
Trumbull22550552
Fairfield22179241
Greene22098311
Medina21763305
Clark19630349
Richland18342280
Portage17696247
Wood17244220
Allen15730269
Miami15355296
Muskingum14551174
Columbiana13756263
Wayne13585263
Tuscarawas12479298
Marion11797175
Scioto11388154
Pickaway11286141
Erie10676180
Ross10462196
Lawrence9663137
Hancock9546149
Ashtabula9479197
Belmont9133197
Geauga8829157
Jefferson8481191
Huron8229139
Union810756
Washington8031137
Sandusky7724145
Athens769572
Knox7606138
Darke7553151
Seneca7208144
Ashland6817125
Auglaize667896
Shelby6410111
Brown628582
Crawford6184130
Defiance6087102
Mercer608293
Fulton592996
Highland590099
Madison587576
Clinton576190
Logan574692
Guernsey572467
Preble5660121
Putnam5250108
Williams520184
Perry512561
Champaign505071
Jackson498770
Ottawa479086
Coshocton471582
Morrow451256
Pike430762
Fayette422160
Adams411587
Gallia411265
Hardin411076
Van Wert364078
Henry357871
Holmes3567122
Hocking352578
Wyandot317961
Carroll297059
Paulding275945
Meigs259249
Monroe212953
Noble196546
Morgan190832
Harrison178242
Vinton162624
Unassigned05
Fort Wayne
Partly Cloudy
53° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 53°
Angola
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 52°
Huntington
Clear
53° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 53°
Decatur
Partly Cloudy
53° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 53°
Van Wert
Partly Cloudy
60° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 60°
Cold front brings scattered rain showers midweek with much cooler air to follow.
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events