The blistering pace of new unemployment filings in the U.S. continued last week when another 6.6 million people applied for financial support, according to numbers released Thursday morning by the U.S. Department of Labor.
It’s a figure that brings the country’s three-week total to roughly 16.8 million claims as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc on medical systems and the economy. Roughly 10% of U.S. workers have lost their jobs in the last three weeks, the fastest and largest decline on records that date back to 1948.
The 6,606,000 unemployment claims reported to the department of labor for last week mark a 261,000-worker decline from the week prior. Numbers for the week ending March 28 were revised upward. Almost 6.9 million Americans filed for benefits that week.
In Colorado, initial claims volume last week slowed down from the record-shattering 61,838 filed during the week ending March 28, according to statistics provided to the U.S. Department of Labor Still, the 45,494 people who filed for unemployment insurance last week is the second-highest single week total on record.
Over the last three weeks, 127,077 people have filed claims in the state. Just 102,000 people did so over the entirety of 2019, state labor economist Ryen Gedney said last week.
There is little sign that things will be getting back to normal in the near future. Many Colorado school districts have announced students will not return to the classroom this spring, and Gov. Jared Polis has extended a statewide stay-at-home order until at least April 26. At least 14 large companies have announced mass layoffs in the state this week, including ski industry giant Vail Resorts.
Some economists predict up to 20 million Americans will lose their jobs this month, a total that would set new records for national unemployment levels.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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