Speed Reads

another 4.4 million

Coronavirus crisis wipes out all job gains since the Great Recession

The number of Americans who have filed initial unemployment claims amid the coronavirus crisis has now surpassed 26 million, according to new data released Thursday.

The Labor Department on Thursday reported that 4.4 million more Americans filed initial applications for jobless benefits last week, which brings the total jobless claims to more than 26 million over the past five weeks, The New York Times reports.

The job losses during the coronavirus crisis have now wiped out all the gains made during the longest hiring boom in U.S. history, Reuters reports. A total of 22.4 million jobs were added to nonfarm payrolls since November 2009 after the Great Recession, CNBC reports, a number that has officially been surpassed by the number of job losses during the pandemic as businesses around the country close their doors.

Last week's jobless report had showed another 5.2 million Americans filed jobless claims. Economists say the unemployment rate for April could reach 20 percent, The Associated Press reports.

"The U.S. economy is hemorrhaging jobs at a pace and scale never before recorded," Scott Anderson, chief economist at Bank of the West in San Francisco, told Reuters. "It compares to a natural disaster on a national scale."