Another 2.43 million USA workers were put out of work last week amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to government data Thursday, bringing the total since mid-March to a massive 38.6 million.
The latest figures push the nine-week tally north of 38 million.
Those series are reported with a one-week lag.
"One bright spot, however, was the almost flat reading in continuing claims, which serves as a gauge of (1) how quickly the economy can ramp up after states "re-open" and (2) the efficacy of the PPP". That total includes $142 million in federal funds and nearly $92 million from Delaware's unemployment insurance trust fund.
A monthly report on the state's unemployment rate, to be released Friday, will provide a more accurate picture of the state's unemployment rate in April.
"None of these states had systems set up to process the unprecedented amount of claims in one fell swoop, so there are backlogs", said Steve Blitz, chief U.S. economist at TS Lombard in NY. The weekly increase in continuing claims owed to large increases in California and Florida, and the California rise owes in part to a biweekly filing cycle for aid recipients. States have begun to relax restrictions to varying degrees, offering job opportunities for many who found themselves in the firing line.
Layoffs fueled by the coronavirus pandemic continue to mount.
A separate report Thursday showed US sales of previously owned homes fell in April by the most since mid-2010.
Pennsylvania's unemployment rate more than doubled to 15.1% in April, up from 5.8% in March, the department said. Continuing claims on that basis totaled 22.9 million for the week ended May 9, following 20.9 million.
Economists said claims numbers were staying high also as states were now processing applications for gig workers and many others trying to access federal government benefits. The fix was reflected in Thursday's report.