Speed Reads

the coronavirus crisis

More than 33 million Americans have filed unemployment claims in 7 weeks

About 3.2 million more Americans filed initial unemployment claims last week, bringing the total across seven weeks to more than 33 million.

The Labor Department said on Thursday that the number of seasonally adjusted initial unemployment claims filed last week was 3.17 million, a decline of 677,000 from the week before, but still higher than the 3.05 million claims economists were expecting, per CNBC.

Adding these numbers up, about 33.5 million Americans have filed unemployment claims since the middle of March as businesses closed their doors and laid off workers during the coronavirus pandemic. This is equivalent to roughly 21 percent of the labor force in March, CNN reports.

This comes ahead of what's expected to be a dire April jobs report to be released on Friday, which The Associated Press reports economists say will likely show the unemployment rate is 16 percent as 21 million jobs were lost, although The New York Times notes that the unemployment figure provided "will almost certainly understate the damage." The unemployment rate climbed to 4.4 percent in March, officially ending a nearly 10-year streak of job gains.