Source: Dubai – Arabic.net
Millions of Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, indicating that layoffs extend to sectors not directly affected by the closure of economic activities and the restrictions related to the emerging Corona virus.
The Labor Ministry’s weekly report on jobless claims came today, Thursday, after news Wednesday that the economy had experienced the worst contraction in the first quarter since the Great Depression. This ends the longest continuous growth period in US history as the economy suffers from the general isolation measures to curb the spread of Covid-19.
The government said today, Thursday, that the number of people who applied for new unemployment benefits reached an adjusted level in light of seasonal factors of 3,839 million, in the week ending April 25. This is a decrease from the previous week, when the number reached 4.442 million people, but the numbers are still high at rates that were not imagined a few months ago.
The average expectation in a Reuters poll of economists was down to 3.5 million. Weekly jobless claims peaked to a record level of 6.867 million in the week ending March 28.
Last week’s requests raised the number of jobless claims to nearly 30 million since March 21, an estimated 18.4% of those of working age. This indicates that the unemployment rate in general exceeded 15% in April
John Dignan, a real estate worker in Nevada, says the phone lines are always busy: “It’s very frustrating because you have neither control nor information. You are very concerned about Covid-19, and you realize that the country’s economy is collapsing and I don’t have much in my savings, perhaps Enough for one month. “
Among the budget allocated by the government to stimulate the economy, a program to help small businesses worth 349 billion dollars, which ran out of funds within two weeks.
Reviews stated that major companies benefited from nearly two-thirds of the money from convenience stores. The preference was for large companies with previous relationships with banks.
The US administration responded to this by issuing new guidelines for the loan program aimed at sorting out large corporations.
The US government has allocated more than $ 2 trillion to provide aid, and has adopted measures, including expanding the scope of those receiving unemployment benefits.
The Department of Labor said that 16 million Americans received benefits during the second week of April.
Many people had difficulties accessing the offices looking at the applications.