Apr 30, 2020 - Economy & Business

Another 3.8 million Americans filed for unemployment last week

Data: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics via FRED; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

3.8 million people filed for unemployment last week, the Labor Department announced Thursday.

Why it matters: While the pace of unemployment filings has slowed since its peak in late March, the number of workers who have lost their jobs in recent weeks — as efforts to contain the coronavirus pandemic slammed the labor market — tops 30 million.

Between the lines: State labor departments have been overwhelmed by the rush of people seeking unemployment benefits.

  • Economists warn that some jobless workers have been unable to apply for benefits, so the number of unemployed could be higher than the weekly figures suggest.

The bottom line: A staggering number of Americans are still losing jobs at historic rates.

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U.S. coronavirus death toll crosses 100,000

Data: Johns Hopkins University; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

More than 100,000 Americans have died of the coronavirus, according to data from Johns Hopkins — a terrible milestone that puts the death toll far beyond some of the most tragic events in U.S. history.

By the numbers: The death toll from COVID-19 now stands at more than 34 times the number of people who died on 9/11.

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

About 40.7 million Americans have filed for unemployment since the coronavirus pandemic began, including 2.1 million more claims filed from last week.

Why it matters: Even as states reopen their economies, Americans are still seeking relief. Revised data out Thursday also showed U.S. economy shrunk by an annualized 5% in the first quarter — worse than the initially estimate of 4.8%.

Coronavirus still has a foothold in the South

Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Overall, new coronavirus infections in the U.S. are on the decline. But a small handful of states, mainly clustered in the South, aren't seeing any improvement.

The big picture: Our progress, nationwide, is of course good news. But it's fragile progress, and it’s not universal. Stubborn pockets of infection put lives at risk, and they can spread, especially as state lockdowns continue to ease.