1 in 5 Workers File For Unemployment During Pandemic
18 percent of the U.S. workforce has lost their job since the start of the pandemic.
The number of Americans that have filed for unemployment since the start of the pandemic passed 30 million last week.
The U.S. Department of Labor released new unemployment claim numbers Thursday for the week ending April 25. During that time 3.8 million people filed for unemployment. Add that to the numbers since the beginning of March and 30.8 million people have filed for unemployment.
The COVID-19 pandemic has lead to an unprecedented shutdown of economic activity, approximately one in five U.S. workers have lost their job, that’s 18 percent of the 163 million person labor force in the United States that has lost their job in less than two months.
In Wisconsin, more than 41,000 people filed for unemployment in the past seven days. During that same seven day period last year there were 4,145 claims for unemployment.
Increasing unemployment also means that the number of people without health insurance is increasing. The Economic Policy Institute, a non-partisan think tank based in Washington, D.C., estimates that 12.7 million workers have lost their health insurance since the start of the pandemic.
The economic devastation is beginning to put political pressure on leaders attempting to deal with the virus. In Wisconsin, Gov. Tony Evers and Secretary of the Department of Health Services Andrea Palm have faced increasing pressure from the state’s GOP leaders to reopen businesses across the state.
One economist told Urban Milwaukee in the beginning of the pandemic that the economic devastation from opening too soon would likely be worse than the pain that comes from waiting to open until the virus has been adequately contained.
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