Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, Republican member of the House Judiciary Committee, joins ‘The Daily Briefing.’

Get all the latest news on coronavirus and more delivered daily to your inbox. Sign up here.

The U.S. unemployment rate was 14.7 percent  in April, the highest since the Great Depression, and many economists expect it will near 20 percent in May.

An estimated 2.1 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week despite the gradual reopening of businesses around the country, bringing the running total since the coronavirus shutdowns took hold in mid-March to about 41 million, the government said Thursday.

The figures underscored the continuing damage to businesses and livelihoods from the outbreak that has now killed at least 100,000 people in the U.S., more than the number of Americans lost in the Vietnam and Korean wars combined, and more than 33 times the death toll on 9/11.

CLICK HERE FOR COMPLETE CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE

The layoffs in the U.S. have hit some parts of the country with particular force.

Here is a state-by-state breakdown.

Nevada’s unemployment rate in April reached 28.2 percent, the highest in the nation.

Michigan’s unemployment rate was next at 22.7 percent.

Next followed by Hawaii at 22.3 percent.

At the other end of the scale, Connecticut’s jobless rate was 7.9 percent, the nation’s lowest.

Next, followed Minnesota (8.1 percent).

Finally, Nebraska (8.3 percent).

As bad as the numbers are, the real picture may be worse. The government counts people as unemployed only if they’re actually looking for a job, and many probably see no point in doing that when so many businesses are shut down.

The figures come amid an intensifying debate in Congress over whether to extend $600 in extra weekly federal unemployment benefits, which were provided under rescue legislation passed in March but are set to expire July 31.

Democrats have proposed extending the payments, while Republicans have argued that the extra money could discourage laid-off workers from returning to jobs that pay less than they are getting on unemployment.

CORONAVIRUS: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

First-time applications for unemployment, though still extraordinarily high, have fallen for eight straight weeks, and states are gradually letting stores, restaurants, salons, gyms and other businesses reopen. But other employers are still laying off workers in the face of a deep recession.

The Labor Department report included a positive sign: The number of people now receiving benefits fell for the first time since the outbreak intensified in mid-March, from 25 million to 21 million. That suggests companies are starting to rehire and could mean that total job losses will peak in May.

Still, economists say many of the jobs lost are never coming back, and double-digit unemployment could persist through 2021.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Spain holds drive-through funerals and government says universal basic income will be brought in ‘as soon as possible’ as country sees smallest rise in coronavirus deaths in almost two weeks – 637 – while rate of new infections continues to fall 

Spain has been holding drive-through funerals for its coronavirus victims as the country’s death toll continues to mount.  The country’s largest cemetery in Madrid was conducting one funeral every 15 minutes at the weekend, with hearses driving up to the…

Italian nurse in viral photo that showed her asleep on her desk during gruelling coronavirus shift reveals she tested positive for Covid-19 but ‘can’t wait’ to get back to work

An Italian nurse who was pictured slumped over her desk during a long shift has revealed she tested positive for coronavirus shortly after the snap was taken, but said she ‘can’t wait to get back’ to work. Elena Pagliarini, 43, became a…

Do face masks really reduce coronavirus spread? Experts have mixed answers

(iStock) Editor’s Note (June 2 at 11:30 a.m.): One paper discussed in this article has been retracted by the journal the Annals of Internal Medicine, meaning that the paper included mistakes so serious that the findings of the research cannot be…

‘No tests’: AP reporter trying to get Covid-19 test sent from pillar to post by health authorities, told to ‘stay home’ on Twitter

Peoples tweeted on Friday that he had been experiencing “mild symptoms” — a headache, mild fever and cough — but that when he arrived at his primary care center in north Jersey, they told him to go to the emergency…