News by VICE

More Than 26 Million Americans Have Now Filed For Unemployment Because of Coronavirus

For the fifth week in a row, the number of initial unemployment claims has obliterated the million-person threshold.

by Paul Blest
Apr 23 2020, 12:36pm

AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

Want the best of VICE News straight to your inbox? Sign up here.

At least 4.4 million people filed initial unemployment claims last week, as the coronavirus-fueled recession continues to put people all over the United States out of work.

It’s the fifth week in a row that the number of initial jobless claims have obliterated the million-person threshold, something that had never happened before March of this year. More than 26 million people have filed jobless claims in the last five weeks.

The hardest-hit states include Colorado, which had an increase of 58,000 claims for the week ending April 11, and New York, which saw an increase of 50,250 over the previous week. In both states, layoffs in healthcare and social assistance are driving unemployment numbers up, according to the Department of Labor.

This week, the governors of some Southern states, such as Brian Kemp of Georgia, vowed to begin reopening businesses as early as Friday — against White House guidance — in an attempt to juice their economies.

But some businesses there say they refuse to open until they feel it’s safe anyway, and in a Wednesday briefing, President Donald Trump said he “disagreed strongly” with Kemp’s plan.

“I told the governor of Georgia, Brian Kemp, that I disagree strongly with his decision to open certain facilities, which are in violation of the phase one guidelines for the incredible people of Georgia," Trump said. "But at the same time, he must do what he thinks is right. I want him to do what he thinks is right, but I disagree with him on what he's doing.”

Listen and subscribe: Via Apple Podcasts | Via Spotify | Via Stitcher or anywhere else you get your podcasts.

Cover: Volunteers load up vehicles at a food distribution center Friday, April 17, 2020, in the Crenshaw district of Los Angeles. Food banks in the state have seen a spike in numbers as the state's unemployment level has jumped to to 5.3% for the month of March. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Tagged:
Economy
unemployment