Unemployment Claims More Than Double Last Week's Record Total


Initial unemployment claims more than double last weeks total, and last week was then the largest in history.

Initial Claims vs Continued Claims

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  • This week's initial claims (6.648 million) exceeds the highest ever continued unemployment claims (6.635 million).
  • The two week total of initial claims is 9.955 million
  • Prior to the last two weeks, the previous high in initial claims was 695,000, set in 1982.

There will be another surge next week as state servers are still flooded with calls.

Household Survey February 2020

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Based on the hard numbers, the number of unemployed will go up by at least 10 million. But states are still scrambling to handle the surge in claims. Another 5 million or more are likely in the pipeline.

If we assume a total of 15 million, the unemployment rate would be (15 million + 5.787 million) / 164.546 million = 12.63%.

We will not necessarily hit that number in tomorrow's jobs report. But whatever tomorrow's number is, it will be worse in the May 1 report for the month of April.

The Huge Fear: How Do I Pay the Bills?

Please note the Huge Fear: The Huge Fear: How Do I Pay the Bills?

Unemployment insurance helps but even under new rules, gig workers and the self-employed will get hit very hard.

Catastrophic Decline in GDP

Goldman expects a Catastrophic GDP Decline Worse than Great Depression

No V-Shaped Recovery

Goldman also expects a V-shaped recovery. Forget about it.

The Covid-19 Recession Will Be Deeper Than the Great Financial Crisis

When people finally do return to work, it will not be business as usual.

It will take a long time, if ever, for the same sentiment to return.

Those previously thinking of buying a new car will hold off. People will travel less and eat out less, especially retired boomers who just had a quarter or more of their savings wiped out.

Nothing is Working Now: What's Next for America?

On March 23, I wrote Nothing is Working Now: What's Next for America?

Globalization is not over, but the rush to globalize everything is. This will impact earnings for years to come. So don't think about new stock market highs either.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (16)
No. 1-6

I know someone who was working in NYC who just now finally got onto the server this morning... after a few weeks being unemployed. tech savvy, tried multiple times per day, at different times.
Oh by the way, 'first' for those of you who have followed Mish for more than a decade.


Bad news is good news again. The Fed will probably unleash free money for everyone now.


I think the real discussion and focus is of the estimated 15 Million that will be unemployed, what percentage will be rehired after all of this. With the number of small businesses closing, mid-large corporation with negative earnings prior to COVID and the decrease in spending per household, maybe half? I have spoken to a lot of local and out of state business owners or managers and they do not intend to rehire everyone after all this. Mostly out of necessity to cut expenses as their companies have tapped out all their credit prior to the COVID crisis.


add that pile to the 150 or so million permanently unemployed,that's a sizable guerilla force,and with all the firepower most folks have in there basement,could a tactical assault on DC to overthrow our ridiculosly incompetent govt be far behind!


Kudos to the unemployment offices for being able to process twice as many applications this week.


The surge was to be expected. With the new stimulus, unemployment is now significantly greater than an actual paycheck for many/most people, giving employers the option of giving employees a big raise by laying them off. I haven't let anyone go yet, but I have had a few employees request it.

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