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Jobless Claims Reach Grim 30-Million Milestone

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More than a fifth of the U.S. working population has now filed for unemployment benefits in the past six weeks - and that doesn't even take into account the millions if Americans not eligible for assistance.

Another 3.8 million Americans filed jobless claims last week, the Labor Department reported on Thursday, as the U.S. economy remained shuttered amid the coronavirus pandemic that has so far forced 30.3 million Americans to file for unemployment benefits.

The U.S. Labor Department reported that 3,839,000 Americans filed for unemployment benefits in the week ended April 25, above the 3.5 million claims expected by analysts polled by FactSet. The six-week total now stands at 30.3 million, the highest on record.

Continuing claims reached another grim milestone, hitting 17.992 million.

The dismal numbers, though better than a few weeks ago, have all but confirmed for analysts and market watchers that April’s nonfarm payrolls report will show a record-breaking double-digit gain in unemployment. 

The most recent claims data come ahead of next week’s nonfarm payrolls report for April, which is expected to show a decline of 2.25 million, with an unemployment rate of 15.1%, according to preliminary estimates from FactSet.

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