Nearly 40 Million Americans Are Now Unemployed As a Result of the Coronavirus Pandemic

According to new data from the Department of Labor, another 2.44 million Americans filed for initial unemployment benefits last week

The current unemployment rate of 14.7 percent means that nearly 40 million Americans are out of work as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, which has forced many businesses to declare bankruptcy or impose layoffs. An estimated 20 million jobs were wiped out last month.

“While the month of May still represents a staggering total of job losses, the number of unemployment benefit claims has been in gradual decline after hitting a peak of 6.8 million for the week ending March 28,” NBC reports. “Continuing claims, or the number of people who are still filing for ongoing weekly benefits, is now at 25 million people, having hit a record 22.8 million for the week ending May 2.”

Claims for the week ending May 9 were revised from 3 million to about 2.7 million after Connecticut’s Labor Department announced it had overreported the number of claims from the prior week.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly touted the strength of the economy under his leadership, but at least one election model predicts the dire economic costs of the pandemic would cause him to lose in a landslide.

According to an Associated Press report, the president’s allies are recruiting “extremely pro-Trump” doctors to go on television and advocate reopening the national economy as speedily as possible. This would be “without waiting to meet safety benchmarks proposed by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to slow the spread of the new coronavirus.”

In an interview with CBS News’ “60 Minutes” that aired on Sunday, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the economy can only sufficiently recover once medical research produces a vaccine.

“Assuming there’s not a second wave of the coronavirus, I think you’ll see the economy recover steadily through the second half of this year. So, for the economy to fully recover people will have to be fully confident and that may have to await the arrival of a vaccine,” he said.