Millions more Americans filed jobless claims and Pa. is burning through unemployment cash. That coul
Almost 3.2 million Americans filed new unemployment claims last week, federal figures showed Thursday, as the economic destruction from the coronavirus pandemic has now impacted 33.5 million jobs nationwide in seven weeks, and states are rapidly burning through cash reserves set aside to pay out jobless benefits.
The numbers of new claims have subsided in Pennsylvania and New Jersey from the startling peaks reached in the first weeks after COVID-19 lockdown orders brought the economy to a standstill: More than 1.7 million Pennsylvanians have now filed claims, or 26% of the workforce, along with 978,000 New Jersey workers, or 21% of the workforce, according to the weekly report from the U.S. Department of Labor.
Economists expect that monthly government unemployment figures due Friday — which explore job losses more deeply than the weekly reports — will show that the erosion of jobs in April was historic. The payroll processing company ADP said Wednesday that the private sector lost more than 20 million jobs in April, and MarketWatch expects the report to show that 22 million jobs were lost last month.
During the worst month of the Great Recession a decade ago, the nation lost 800,000 jobs.
“The greatest losses, not surprisingly, were in the hospitality, construction, trade and transportation sectors,” Joel Naroff, president and founder of Naroff Economic Advisors in Bucks County, said in a note to clients Wednesday. “However, every industrial sector of the economy and every size grouping was battered by the shutdowns.”