WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A staggering 16.8 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits in the last three weeks, with weekly new claims topping 6 million for the second straight time last week as the novel coronavirus outbreak relentlessly savages the economy.
Thursday’s weekly jobless claims report from the Labor Department, the most timely data on the economy’s health, strengthens economists’ expectations of job losses of up to 20 million in April and their conviction that the economy is in deep recession. It also underscored an urgent need for more fiscal stimulus to halt the free fall, economists said.
“In its first month alone, the coronavirus crisis is poised to exceed any comparison to the Great Recession,” said Daniel Zhao, senior economist at Glassdoor, a website recruitment firm. “The new normal for unemployment insurance claims will be the canary in the coal […]