Another 2.98 million Americans filed for unemployment last week, the Labor Department said on Thursday.
Why it matters: The coronavirus is still forcing a historically high number of Americans out of work. In two months alone, more than 36 million people have filed jobless claims.
Between the lines: The pace of new applications has slowed from its peak in March, but the weekly numbers are still way higher than before businesses shuttered to contain the outbreak.
- There are more jobless workers that haven't been able to get their application through. State unemployment offices are racing to get through an avalanche of unemployment filings — with states like New York processing more claims in the past few months than they have in years.
- Measuring the backlog is "like trying to measure the ocean, it's constantly moving," New York Labor Department commissioner Roberta Reardon said in a press call yesterday.
- While more Americans than ever before are eligible for unemployment, including gig workers, some states are just beginning to scale up to accept those applications.
By the numbers: The total number of people continuing to receive unemployment benefits — after initially applying — rose, bringing the total to a record 22.8 million.
- A decrease in this figure would be an indication that Americans are returning back to work.
The bottom line: Goldman Sachs estimates the unemployment rate will hit 25%, matching the peak level of joblessness during the Great Depression.